An interesting little detail emerged today about new right wing public enemy #1 CNN reporter Susan Roesgen. She twice applied for a job at Fox News. She applied in January and September 2005 and was turned down. Is Roesgen bitter, or is this just business as usual for cable news?
According to Gawker, “Back in 2005, though, according to a Fox News source, Roesgen really wanted to work for that right-wing conservative network. She sent a tape of her on-air work to Fox’s then-programming chief Kevin Magee in January 2005, and followed up with another reel to Magee’s successor Bill Shine in September 2005. Needless to say, she didn’t get the gig.” Roesgen didn’t respond to Gawker request for comment, and CNN said that they knew nothing about it.
This is intriguing because it can be used to lend credibility to both points of view to the Roesgen Chicago Tea Party incident. The right wingers will claim that Roesgen hates FNC because they didn’t hire her, while others will argue that Roesgen antagonized the situation, just to sensationalize the story. Neither explanation makes Susan Roesgen look good. In reality, this illustrates the fact that most political reporters/anchors/commentators are hired guns who say whatever gets them paid.
Consider how many of these on air personalities float from network to network. Glenn Beck was formerly at CNN’s Headline News. MSNBC’s David Shuster and David Gregory were at Fox News. Fox News’s Bill Hemmer was a CNN anchor for years. Keith Olbermann hates Fox News, but used to work for its parent network Fox. The examples go on and on.
This is less about partisan politics and media bias, and more about what sells. How many times have we seen on air talent move from one network to another and change their political slant? It happens all of the time.
Maybe Susan Roesgen did have an axe to grind? Perhaps she knew that her bosses at CNN would like a report that played up the radicalism of the gathering? Did she feel threatened by the crowd and lost her cool? The only person who can answer these questions is Susan Roesgen, but people shouldn’t be so hasty to attach their own biases to what they see. This story is a good reminder that cable news long ago stopped being about journalism. It is about profit and money. A long time ago the cable news networks put what sells ahead of journalism.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association