Tasteless CNN Debases Itself by Blasting Kelly for Emotional WH Remarks

Just when you thought CNN couldn’t cheapen itself any further. On Thursday, CNN Newsroom reacted to a powerful White House statement Chief of Staff and Gen. John Kelly (Ret.) amidst the Gold Star families controversy by noting Kelly’s personal sacrifices before lambasting him for calling out a Democratic member of Congress and attacking the media.

Right off the bat, CNN Political Director David Chalian noted that “it's hard to listen to a father tell that story and not have sympathy” before declaring that Kelly’s emotions must be separated “from the White House chief of staff going into the press briefing room to clearly try and attempt to clean up a political mess that, quite frankly, his boss largely created.”

 

 

“[B]ecause John Kelly wouldn't be part of this story and wouldn't feel the need to go to the press and address this and we wouldn't have a ton of questions if it were not for his boss who injected him into this entire episode this week,” Chalian added.

That’s the thing with CNN. Network personalities might accurately claim that something isn’t political, but then disqualify themselves by going political and making any segment into an anti-Trump tirade.

White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny was in the room for the pin-drop moment, but put aside Kelly’s message to lament how he “did not answer, what role President Trump played in politicizing this as well.” Zeleny then continued: 

He went directly after the congresswoman, even invoking a previous story of her support for a new FBI building in Miami. Of course, she does represent Miami. He went directly after her. So, of course, I'm sure we will hear a response from her but he did not answer a couple pertinent questions about the President's role in politicizing this. 

Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger couldn’t do any better, making the entire discussion into a one-sided debate about how President Trump doesn’t display one ounce of leadership:

But it does make you sort of see what we're lacking in this entire discussion which is leadership, answered questions about how things occur, straight and direct answers that we never get and he took himself into the realm of politics by talking about this congresswoman and in his — and defending Donald Trump and saying, you know, this is basically my fault because I told him what a mother — what a wife might want to hear. 

Retired Rear Admiral, former Obama official, and CNN Analyst John Kirby also chimed in, giving Kelly more praise than his CNN colleagues before, sadly, going down the same path of attacking Kelly. He argued that Kelly wasn’t immune from criticism because he made the decision to become “a cabinet official” and chief of staff.

“I was a bit quite frankly with all respect put off by him and Secretary Mattis today criticizing the media coverage of this somewhat. Two, three, 12 days later. Where were they 12 days ago or yesterday and the day before...We're only doing this — they're only doing this now because it got to the boiling point it was and that's just poor communications and poor, I think, in my mind, poor political situational awareness,” Kirby complained.

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Kirby reasserted himself again moments later, telling retired Colonel and CNN colleague Steve Warren that Kelly wouldn’t have needed to speak out “if they just had been a little more forthcoming about what they were doing in Africa what happened to this young man and if the President hadn't not in himself — so political.” 

“I mean, he turned — he turned what should a solemn duty for any commander in chief, regardless of your political stipe, he turned into a competition with his predecessor. He turned it into a publicity stunt,” the former Kerry State Department spokesman added before praising Barack Obama’s behavior concerning fallen soldiers and their families

The anti-Trump train continued full-speed ahead as fill-in host Brianna Keilar knocked Trump:

[H]e is the commander in chief, so the buck stops with him when it comes to these things and one of the things that struck me and I wonder what you think about it, was that you saw the chief of staff providing the moral leadership on this issue that I think a lot of people believe Donald Trump has abdicated with his initial comments and what he said in response to what the congresswoman said.

Borger agreed, suggesting that Kelly’s remarks were possibly ordered by the President...and thus not as genuine? Who knows. Anyway, here’s Borger’s argument in full:

Absolutely and I'm wondering if General Kelly went into the Oval and said Mr. President, let me clear this up. It would not surprise me — if, through, our reporting, we discover that. Yes, maybe the President asked him to go out but, you know, it wouldn't surprise me if Kelly said, okay, I'm going to clear this up and one thing I would add on the Niger situation is that, when the questions were being asked about what happened, that's when it got cut off because I don't think we have the answers to these very important questions about the fallen soldiers. We don't. 

CNN political analyst and Spectrum New York anchor Errol Louis chimed in too, also seeming to question the authenticity of what Kelly said in that they weren’t aimed at doing anything important to solemn but instead pleasing Trump:

Well, look, I think of that at a minimum as the price of taking the podium. We know that most people in that briefing room from the administration are pointing to an audience of one. So, you have to assume the President is watching. It's very interesting of course that he made reference to comments about Gold Star families being sacred at one point and he says that left at the convention over the summer. There's going to be a lot of analysis of that and why in fact that last breach of what was sacred has changed, and that of course, was because candidate Donald Trump decided to pick a fight with a Gold Star family. So, I saw him as, Brianna, walking a very fine line. You know, needing to do some political combat that was kind of the price of being there, being chief of staff. You got to pick sides in a political fight and that's just what he did. I think it could have all played out very differently.

CNN’s partisan behavior was enabled by CNN Newsroom advertisers HomeLight.com, JoS. A. Bank, Oprah’s O, That’s Good food line, and Principal Financial Services.

Here’s the relevant transcript from October 19's CNN Newsroom:

CNN Newsroom
October 19, 2017
3:23 p.m. Eastern

DAVID CHALIAN: Well, it's hard to listen to a father tell that story and not have sympathy for what he's recounting and experiencing, the darkest, hardest moments of his life. It is also difficult, I would imagine for most of us here, to separate out that personal experience that he went to go tell and explain the heart-wrenching detail of what happens when a service member loses their life to separate that from the White House chief of staff going into the press briefing room to clearly try and attempt to clean up a political mess that, quite frankly, his boss largely created because John Kelly wouldn't be part of this story and wouldn't feel the need to go to the press and address this and we wouldn't have a ton of questions if it were not for his boss who injected him into this entire episode this week.

(....)

JEFF ZELENY: But what General Kelly did not — was not as eager to answer and, in fact, did not answer, what role President Trump played in politicizing this as well. He went directly after the congresswoman, even invoking a previous story of her support for a new FBI building in Miami. Of course, she does represent Miami. He went directly after her. So, of course, I'm sure we will hear a response from her but he did not answer a couple pertinent questions about the President's role in politicizing this. 

(....)

GLORIA BORGER: But it does make you sort of see what we're lacking in this entire discussion which is leadership, answered questions about how things occur, straight and direct answers that we never get and he took himself into the realm of politics by talking about this congresswoman and in his — and defending Donald Trump and saying, you know, this is basically my fault because I told him what a mother — what a wife might want to hear. 

(....)

REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (Ret.): That said, and with all respect to him, he didn't just get into the realm of politics today with this discussion at the podium, he got into the realm of politics when he agreed to be a cabinet official in this administration and when he agreed to be the chief of staff. We need to keep that in mind, that as brave a man as he was and as great a general he was, he is a political official now and this is the world he's living in and I was a bit quite frankly with all respect put off by him and Secretary Mattis today criticizing the media coverage of this somewhat. Two, three, 12 days later. Where were they 12 days ago or yesterday and the day before? Trying to shape understanding of what happened here in Niger and what happened to Sergeant Johnson and what happened on the phone call. We're only doing this — they're only doing this now because it got to the boiling point it was and that's just poor communications and poor, I think, in my mind, poor political situational awareness. 

(....)

COL. STEVE WARREN (Ret.): But the admiral was absolutely right. There's no excuse for the Pentagon and for the White House to have waited nearly two weeks to begin addressing this issue publicly. 

KIRBY: We would not have had to see that and that was hard to watch and I'm sure it was hard for him to do. Wouldn't have had to do that if they just had been a little more forthcoming about what they were doing in Africa what happened to this young man and if the President hadn't not in himself — so political — I mean, he turned — he turned what should a solemn duty for any commander in chief, regardless of your political stipe, he turned into a competition with his predecessor. He turned it into a publicity stunt. [PRAISED OBAMA]

(....)

BRIANNA KEILAR: To that point, he is the commander in chief, so the buck stops with him when it comes to these things and one of the things that struck me and I wonder what you think about it, was that you saw the chief of staff providing the moral leadership on this issue that I think a lot of people believe Donald Trump has abdicated with his initial comments and what he said in response to what the congresswoman said. 

GLORIA BORGER: Absolutely and I'm wondering if General Kelly went into the Oval and said Mr. President, let me clear this up. It would not surprise me — if, through, our reporting, we discover that. Yes, maybe the President asked him to go out but, you know, it wouldn't surprise me if Kelly said, okay, I'm going to clear this up and one thing I would add on the Niger situation is that, when the questions were being asked about what happened, that's when it got cut off because I don't think we have the answers to these very important questions about the fallen soldiers. We don't. 

(....)

ERROL LOUIS: Well, look, I think of that at a minimum as the price of taking the podium. We know that most people in that briefing room from the administration are pointing to an audience of one. So, you have to assume the President is watching. It's very interesting of course that he made reference to comments about Gold Star families being sacred at one point and he says that left at the convention over the summer. There's going to be a lot of analysis of that and why in fact that last breach of what was sacred has changed, and that of course, was because candidate Donald Trump decided to pick a fight with a Gold Star family. So, I saw him as, Brianna, walking a very fine line. You know, needing to do some political combat that was kind of the price of being there, being chief of staff. You got to pick sides in a political fight and that's just what he did. I think it could have all played out very differently. It would have been interesting to hear him say — place a personal phone call to the congresswoman, maybe have this as a private conversation rather than this very public dispute. It just didn't work out that way. The phone call. as it turns out. was a public act by the president to this family, people on the President's side listening to the call. People in the car with the grieving widow also listening in and what — you know, unfortunately what could have been handled as a personal misunderstanding and miscommunication as I think General Kelly explained it probably was, the President was just inept at explaining something that Kelly explained very, very well from the podium. It turned into something completely different and becomes one more symbol of our broken politics. 

NB Daily Africa Military Anti-Military Bias Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN CNN Newsroom Video Errol Louis David Chalian Frederica Wilson Jeff Zeleny Gloria Borger Brianna Keilar Donald Trump John Kelly
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