The CNN has been criticized for its heavily anti-Trump coverage and comments over the years. It has also received widespread criticism of hiring Trump critics, including Andrew McCabe who was fired from the Justice Department and accused of an array of wrongdoing. He is also facing a recommendation for a criminal charge for false statements. This morning however CNN’s John Berman turned to McCabe to give its expert review of the serious controversy over an intelligence community complaint reportedly against Trump. CNN largely skipped over McCabe’s precarious legal position or the past complaints that he lied about past investigations.
I previously raised the same concerns over CNN’s use of James Clapper who admitted to lying to Congress.
As I discussed today, I consider this latest controversy to be quite serious and I have long criticized Trump for his mishandling of classified information, including his disclosure of classified information to Russian officials.
However, this is about journalistic integrity and it is quite unbelievable that CNN would not only hire McCabe (who is at the center of an expanding scandal) but use him on a story of this kind.
McCabe tells Berman that he knows “all too well” what whistleblowers have in disclosing information of wrongdoing. It was only after McCabe said “I have all kinds of issues” with the Administration that he shared his history and ongoing disputes.
I respect Berman and I think that this could have been an interesting interview, but it is the fact that McCabe was speaking as a CNN contributor and expert that made this so troubling from a journalistic standpoint. While the interview spoke of how Trump fails to follow basic rules and protocols in intelligence, there are also expectations and rules for journalism. Hiring McCabe and then using him as an expert on these stories is a remarkable departure from the expectations of media in my view.