Any assumption that CNN thus had enough in-house Trumpites ignores the essence of CNN under President Jeff Zucker: More, more, more! And so today brings the news that Scottie Nell Hughes, political editor of RightAlerts.com will join CNN in a paid capacity to also say pro-Trump things on air. Of course, she has already done quite a bit of that, and in the process triggered some skeptical questioning from CNN anchors.
For example, she engaged host Brianna Keilar in a ridiculous back-and-forth over whether Trump’s original tweet featuring the shape of a Star of David over a pile of cash in a meme ridiculing Hillary Clinton was still on the Internet. “The tweet is still up. The generic graphic of the star has just been replaced by a circle,” said Hughes, prompting Keilar to slow her down and explain that the original tweet, criticized as being anti-Semitic, was taken down. Then the Trump people posted another one. “The point is that Hillary Clinton history made the most corrupt candidate ever,” said Hughes, riffing off the text of the tweet.
It was painful to behold.
And in that respect, it was no different from other Hughes appearances, like when Wolf Blitzer asks Hughes about a Trump comment about riots at the Cleveland GOP convention (“Riots aren’t necessarily a bad thing if it means it’s because it’s seen as fighting the fact that our Republican Party has gone corrupt.”); like when Hughes told Keilar that Trump will give a substantive foreign policy speech if he’s “given the opportunity”; and like when Hughes said that people who “want to take out Mr. Trump try to focus on his words to try to distract from the actions and the policies that he puts out there,” prompting an intervention by host John Berman, who wondered what the problem was with folks listening to what a presidential candidate says.
Those remarks were no more or less comical than the work routinely turned in by Hughes’s peers on the CNN-pro-Trump-paid-commentator beat. Just think back to Lewandowski dancing around questions as to whether he signed a non-disparagement agreement with Trump; or Lord citing FDR in defense of Trump’s proposed Muslim ban; or Lord tangling CNN’s Van Jones in a baffling argument about U.S. race relations. Listening to this crew day after day, you sometimes have to wonder — are they even discussing the same issues that the anchors place before them?
Whatever the case, they sure do torture CNN hosts, for no amount of journalistic training can prepare you for Lord-McEnany-Lewandowski-Hughes.