Latest News

On Colbert, Anderson Cooper has no good answers as to why CNN employs Corey Lewandowski

Good on Stephen Colbert. The “Late Show” host last night welcomed CNN host Anderson Cooper for a little chat, and the name of former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski arose.

The late-night host moved into media-accountability mode: “Oh, Corey Lewandowski who now works at CNN. So he works for you guys. Does he still get any money from the Trump people at the same time?” asked Colbert.

Cooper: “I believe, I read he gets a severance, a continuing severance from the Trump campaign.”

Colbert: “So you all are paying him, and Trump is paying him, but he’s on your show doing analysis for a man he still gets cash from.”

Cooper: “Pretty much, yeah. [Laughter] I guess that’s one way to look at it, yes.”

Colbert: “And you still respect his opinion too?”

Cooper: “Well, you know, we have people from all the campaigns.”

With that last response, Cooper sort of danced around the most essential question here. Let us fill in the blank — there’s no reason to respect the opinions that Lewandowski unfurls on CNN. The financial arrangement is corrupting enough on its own terms. Yes, indeed, CNN is paying a political operative who’s getting paid at the same time by the Trump campaign. It’s an absurd conflict of interest whose rationale still hasn’t been adequately explained. Omitted from the back-and-forth between Colbert and Cooper, however, is the matter of a possible non-disparagement agreement that Lewandowski may well have signed regarding his time with the Trump campaign. That would take off the table a whole range of experiences that Lewandowski might be expected to share with CNN viewers.

The Washington Post recently reported that Lewandowski “received his regular $20,000 monthly fee on July 6 — two weeks after he was jettisoned and had been hired by CNN as a political commentator.” There is one mitigating consideration in all of this, and it’s that CNN has disclosed to viewers Lewandowski’s severance arrangements and hasquestioned him on air about any non-disparagement clause. He didn’t really answer that one. “I’m a guy who calls balls and strikes,” he said in a June interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.