HLN Panel Slams Media for Smearing Trump’s Hires as Talking Heads

In what appeared to be a shot across the bow of their parent network CNN on Tuesday, the panel on HLN’s S.E. Cupp Unfiltered slammed media outlets who discredited President Trump’s new White House hires simply because they spent time on cable news. “So is the media smearing the President's pick just to beat up on Trump or are these TV talking heads actually dangerous,” conservative host S.E. Cupp wondered.

From John Bolton to Larry Kudlow, Trump is under fire for taking talks heads and turning them into advisers. It’s unorthodox, sure. But is it really a problem,” Cupp asked viewers. “It would be if these folks were otherwise unqualified.” She then read through each one’s long list of past government experience going back decades and in multiple presidencies.

Cupp admitted that she didn’t agree with many of Bolton or Kudlow’s positions, but agreed they had the experience required for the positions Trump hired them for, National Security Adviser and chief economic adviser respectively.

She turned to Unfiltered senior producer Andy Levy who unloaded on the media for not being honest about their motives for critiquing the two. “Let’s be clear here, when people in journalism claim to be upset that Trump is surrounding himself with cable news people, what they really mean is that they think he is surrounding himself with the wrong cable news people,” he explained, noting they were angry at Fox News.

Levy then proceeded to mock the media for being full of themselves:

Everyone who works in journalism thinks that they have amazing insights and important things to say … [they] would love to have the President's ear and most of them would take one of these jobs in a heartbeat and think they should have one of these jobs.

 

 

And he’s 100 percent right. Back on March 15, CNN ran a report on Anderson Cooper 360 where they whined about how many people from Fox News had the President’s ear and the handful of people he hired from there. And during The Situation Room on March 22, they dismissed Bolton as just a “Fox News Analyst.” Despite CNN’s complaints of Trump’s revolving door, President Obama had hired at least 30 journalists over his eight years in office, with a number of them coming from CNN.

A key part of CNN’s complaints on March 15 was that many of Trump’s hires just didn’t have any real qualifications needed to do the job. But during Unfiltered, conservative panelists T. Beckett Adams and Charles C.W. Cooke destroyed their assertions.

Look, you can argue all you want against Bolton and Kudlow, but can’t write them off as TV talking heads. They are on TV because of precisely what they have accomplished,” Adams argued after approving of how Trump wasn’t using the typical revolving door of “inbred” think tanks.

Cooke poked fun at himself saying that he was only a writer and if Trump hired him that would be a cause for concern, “but John Bolton is asked to write, whatever you think of his views, because he’s John Bolton. Because he has expertise in this area and experience in this area.” He was actually fed up with such ridiculous criticisms:

I've been slightly annoyed by this talking points. We live in a world in which people who have expertise, who are articulate, are asked onto television. And, of course, that is going to coincide with political appointments.

It’s really courageous that the show would go against the corporate narrative of having a double standard when it came to administrations hiring friendly journalists.

The relevant portions of the transcript are below, click expand to read:

 

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HLN
S.E. Cupp Unfiltered
March 27, 2018
5:15:02 PM Eastern

S.E. CUPP: Does President Trump watch too much cable news? Definitely. Does he have an unhealthy affinity for Fox an Friends? Yup. Is he surrounding himself with TV personalities he’s comfortable with? He sure is. But is this reason to freak out? Many in the media sure think so. From John Bolton to Larry Kudlow, Trump is under fire for taking talks heads and turning them into advisers. It’s unorthodox, sure. But is it really a problem?

It would be if these folks were otherwise unqualified. But take John Bolton for example. Bolton, a Fox News staple, along with his mustache, was a Bush 43 undersecretary of state, an ambassador to the U.N. and worked in the State and Justice departments during the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations. What about Larry Kudlow, Trump’s new top economic adviser? Kudlow, a long time CNBC anchor and syndicated radio host is an alumnus of the Reagan administration and formerly Bear Stearns’ chief economist and senior managing director.

(…)

So is the media smearing the President's pick just to beat up on Trump or are these TV talking heads actually dangerous?

(…)

Andy, I don't agree with everything that John Bolton has said or done. I think Larry Kudlow made like every wrong decision about the economy in every capacity he had. And Pete has his own issues. But it is a really difficult to call any of these people unqualified. And I think it is kind of just easy to pick on the President forgetting his advisors off of cable news.

ANDY LEVY: Let’s be clear here, when people in journalism claim to be upset that Trump is surrounding himself with cable news people, what they really mean is that they think he is surrounding himself with the wrong cable news people. Which is fine and at least in some cases I agree with it. But be honest about it. Everyone who works in journalism thinks that they have amazing insights and important things to say.

CUPP: We do.

LEVY: They would love – you would love to have the President's ear and most of them would take one of these jobs in a heartbeat and think they should have one of these jobs. So what they are really getting at here is that they don't like the fact that the President is picking mostly from Fox News or whatever. And again, that is fine. But be open about that. Stop pretending

CUPP: They’re a little jelly is what you’re saying.

(…)

T. BECKETT ADAMS: I don't think that he will start changing who he is right now because he has a couple people from cable. But I agree with you on this point, I don’t care where he gets people from so long as he gets qualified people. I like the fact that he is reaching outside of the standard D.C. operating procedure, which is to choose people from these sort of inbred think tanks where they have been funneling for decades. He’s choosing people—Look, you can argue all you want against Bolton and Kudlow, but can’t write them off as TV talking heads. They are on TV because of precisely what they have accomplished.

CUPP: Yeah, I mean, if this were another administration, say, a democratic administration; they were picking people off MSNBC, do you think anyone in the media would be upset about this?

(…)

CHARLES C.W. COOKE: But you made the key point which is they are on TV because of who they are. Not the other way around. If Donald Trump picked me, that would be cause for concern. Because I am a writer. But John Bolton is asked to write, whatever you think of his views, because he’s John Bolton. Because he has expertise in this area and experience in this area.

(…)

I've been slightly annoyed by this talking points. We live in a world in which people who have expertise, who are articulate, are asked onto television. And, of course, that is going to coincide with political appointments.

(…)

NB Daily Double Standards Revolving Door Cable Television HLN (formerly CNN Headline News) S.E. Cupp Unfiltered Video Andy Levy Larry Kudlow S.E. Cupp Donald Trump John Bolton

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