In case you have any doubts of about whether coverage of the 2020 elections will be as bad or worse as 2016, the fact that CNN’s politics editor will be someone with 1)no experience in journalism and 2)extensive experience as a hack Republican operative should settle the question:
President Donald Trump has derided CNN as a leading purveyor of “fake news,” and now, a recently departed administration official is joining the network in a senior role.
Sarah Isgur, who served as the Justice Department’s leading spokeswoman under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is joining the network as a political editor next month, where she will coordinate political coverage for the 2020 campaign.
Isgur joined the administration in 2017 after overcoming resistance from the president, who balked at bringing on a political operative who had trashed him on the campaign trail. As deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign, and in the months after Fiorina bowed out of the race, Isgur repeatedly laced into Trump.
“Saying you will criminally prosecute your political opponent when you win is a scary and dangerous threat,” she wrote on Twitter in October of 2016, in reference to Trump’s repeated threats to jail his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Isgur, who did not respond to a request for comment on this story, was equally critical of Clinton during the campaign.
While it is common for departing administration officials to join cable news networks as analysts or contributors, it is less common for them to oversee news coverage. Isgur has no experience in news but a long history as a political operative, most recently with the Trump administration and the Fiorina campaign. Before that, she worked for the Republican National Committee and on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile. She began working with Sessions before his confirmation hearing, guiding him through the process and preparing with him in mock hearings.
The EMAILS! election wasn’t an error or accident. It happens largely because 1)working the refs works, 2)President Trump is good for business, and 3)Republican governments are good for people who make decisions at media companies. The people responsible people have no reason to think they did anything wrong because for them it worked out just fine. The actual journalists at CNN aren’t happy about this but they don’t make the big decisions.
But as someone who once spent time in that abandoned shopping mall headquarters in Atlanta, I still think the other route is available: Do journalism. Kick ass. Give people who don't want shouty bootlicking something to watch. The worst that happens is you went down fighting.
— Jonathan M. Katz✍🏻 (@KatzOnEarth) February 20, 2019