Media critic

With extraordinary bluster and skill, CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord has defended the guy he was hired to defend. When Donald Trump proposed a ban on Muslims, there was Lord, citing FDR as historical precedent. When Trump attacked a “Mexican judge” presiding over lawsuits relating to Trump University, there was Lord bootstrapping some twisted defense of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. When Trump failed to convincingly distance himself from a former KKK leader, there was Lord arguing about the political origins of the Klan. As if that had been the issue.

It’s safe to say, then, that for Lord to disagree with Trump, you’ve got to have one heck of a Trump-Lord wedge issue.

On Wednesday night, the Erik Wemple Blog found one. In Cincinnati, Trump was issuing a particularly erratic address on everything under the sun, including his least favorite media outlet of the moment: “CNN’s terrible,” said Trump. “They’re dishonest. Ever see it where they have, like, seven people, and I have Jeffrey Lord? I love Jeffrey Lord. But I don’t watch it anymore. Because you know, in life, when you don’t like something, when something’s unpleasant, don’t watch it … When people treat you unfairly, just turn your back, go someplace else.” There was a lot more CNN-bashing, as this partial transcript shows:

Having listened to Trump hammer news outlets for the past 13 months, we feel authorized to say that this broadside against CNN was among the more concerted of Trump’s running bits of media criticism. To summarize Trump’s CNN position: Dishonest, unfair, unbalanced, the “Clinton News Network” and so on.

Hello, CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord? Do you agree that CNN is unfair to Trump? “So, you want me to disagree with Donald Trump? Wait, I think my cellphone’s dying. Oh, I’m not on a cell hone,” joked the maximally affable Lord in a brief chat yesterday with the Erik Wemple Blog. Reminded of the question, Lord said, “As long as CNN has Trump supporters on there, I believe that we can carry our own.” Indeed, CNN continues packing its commentator ranks with Trumpites. So you disagree with Trump about all the unfairness? “Yeah, in that sense sure, yes,” responded the pro-Trump commentator who almost never disagrees with the candidate (there appeared to be some distance between the two, however, over the question of whether the “star” tweet was a mistake).

A political director in the Reagan White House, Lord showed off his political chops with his other comments on this matter, as he endorsed the imperative of Trump criticizing CNN or Fox News or Politico or whatever media outlet he feels has maligned him. “I think this is one of the reasons for his success with the base of the Republican Party — they believe as gospel that the media is unfair to them … and that their nominees don’t fight,” said Lord.