The journalists at CNN on Wednesday haughtily dismissed the hiring of Larry Kudlow as Donald Trump’s new economic adviser, discarding the former Ronald Reagan official as simply a “TV personality” who encourages the President’s “TV feedback loop.”
CNN political director David Chalian condescended: “The other thing, of course, to note here is this is a cable TV personality. It is a perfect kind of appointment for The Apprentice-style presidency that Donald Trump is running.” Blitzer tried to pull Chalian back a bit, reminding that the man who worked for Reagan’s OMB office is “clearly qualified to be the President's national economic council director.”
But CNN would not be stopped from minimizing Kudlow. A graphic chided: “Trump Taps TV Personality as New Economic Adviser.” Professional scold and Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter sneered at the author, economist and CNBC senior contributor:
We know that when President Trump wants advice or affirmation, he frequently turns on the TV. But this is one of the best examples yet of that Trump TV feedback loop. It's not only that the President live tweets cable news shows, gets ideas from cable news hosts, and sometimes calls them up after they're on the air. Now we actually see him poaching a host from cable television.
Perhaps the journalists at CNN are unhappy that the “TV personalities” on their network are being ignored by the White House.
A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.
1:00 p.m. Eastern
CNN Graphic: WaPo: Trump Taps TV Personality as New Economic Adviser
WOLF BLITZER: The Washington Post now reporting that Larry Kudlow will replace Gary Cohn as the next chairman of the White House National Economic Council. Let’s bring in our political director David Chalian. The President yesterday was praising Larry Kudlow, saying he’s a great guy. They agree on so many issues. They do disagree on one very sensitive issue and that would be tariffs.
DAVID CHALIAN: Tariffs. This is the issue the President put front and center in advance of that special election in Pennsylvania. Wolf, I was just bringing up — This is dated March 3. This is a column written by Larry Kudlow, Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore, free market guys, right? Conservative economists. He basically is in here saying that there is no logic to the tariffs.
He said, “Mr. President, these tariffs are a tax hike.” And Wolf, you'll remember, Gary Cohn, the man Larry Kudlow is now set to replace as head of the National Economic Council, left his job basically over, as the last straw, the tariff issue. He was in disagreement with the President. He left his job over it. So the president is now replacing him with someone who agreed with Gary Cohn in that battle, not the president.
The other thing, of course, to note here is this is a cable TV personality. It is a perfect kind of appointment for the Apprentice-style presidency that Donald Trump is running. And we know how consumed he is with watching people on cable television and consuming a lot of TV news. So it should surprise nobody that he would actually tap a cable television personality.
BLITZER: Larry Kudlow has been at CNBC for a long time.
CHALIAN: Not that he doesn't have the credentials. I'm not suggesting that.
BLITZER: He's an economist. Clearly qualified to be the president's national economic council director. At the same time, though, when it comes to tariffs and trade, globalist versus protectionist, he's with Gary Cohn.
1:07 p.m. Eastern
BLITZER: So he's gone to CNBC this time. A long-time friend of the president, Larry Kudlow. A long-time anchor and analyst on CNBC to come in and run economics over at the National Economic Council.
STELTER: Yeah, we know that when President Trump wants advice or affirmation, he frequently turns on the TV. But this is one of the best examples yet of that Trump TV feedback loop. It's not only that the President live tweets cable news shows, gets ideas from cable news hosts, and sometimes calls them up after they're on the air. Now we actually see him poaching a host from cable television, in this case Larry Kudlow, as you've been talking about. Kudlow has been a host on CNBC for many years. He's one of the best known faces on CNBC. A conservative commentator, someone who's been promoting free market capitalism all of his life and on television for many years. He was also an informal adviser to Trump during the campaign. So they've been in touch. This is nothing new necessarily. What is new is to see this CNBC host — he's now a contributor to the network — actually making the leap and joining the government. Maybe not the last person we'll see make this move from TV to the White House.