Fox News’ Howard Kurtz Nails it by Calling CNN’s Lewandowski Hiring ‘Sad’

CNN’s inexplicable hiring of fired Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, the guy who allegedly physically assaulted Brietbart’s Michelle Fields, has raised some eyebrows even in the mainstream media.

As Think Progress editor Judd Legum tweeted Thursday,

Even over at Fox News, about as far from Think Progress as you can get, where on Thursday’s Kelly File, Howard Kurtz told Megyn Kelly that “for CNN to hire him 12 minutes after he was fired is to use, one of Trump’s famous words, sad.”

As Washington Post columnist Eric Wemple quipped in an op-ed Thursday, “How many Trumpites does CNN need?” They already have, he says,

“Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan political director prone to ridiculous invocations of history to defend Trump, and Kayleigh McEnany, whose defenses of the candidate tend to be more conventional, though no more convincing.”

But Wemple’s op-ed, astute as it was, is less remarkable by far than Kurt’s attack, coming as it does from Fox News. And not only did Kurtz attack CNN’s decision, but his critique was fact-based and sensible.

Watch courtesy of Media Matters for America:

Megyn Kelly: Before I let you go, Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager who just got fired, got hired as a contributor at CNN. This is the same guy who has threatened more than one journalist in the course of this campaign, has had some very ugly language attributed to him when it comes to women, and now he will be getting paid by Donald Trump one day and by CNN the next. Your thoughts?

Howard Kurtz: Well, this is no knock on Corey, who I thought handled his firing with class, but for CNN to hire him 12 minutes after he was fired is to use, one of Trump’s famous words, sad. It’s really sad because Lewandowski made clear both in the first interview he did with CNN before he was on the payroll, and in an interview he did just tonight as a CNN contributor, that he doesn’t intend to utter a negative syllable about Donald Trump, and even if he wanted to he signed a confidentiality agreement with Trump, so he’s limited in what he can say. So I don’t see how this helps CNN provide anything approaching independent analysis, and watching Corey tonight, it almost seems like he was still on Trump’s payroll because he was defending him at every possible turn.

Kelly: So it’s not honest analysis. And you think about the CNN reporter over there feels, the one who he threatened. I hope they don’t bump into each other in the green room. That’s going to be awkward. It’s really remarkable.

It was actually three days before CNN hired Lewandowski, but as the expression goes, Kurtz ain’t wrong. And it’s not often you can say that about a Fox News personality. After all, CNN had called the alleged assault on Fields “inexcusable” and demanded Trump fire him. When Trump finally fired him, CNN instantly hired him.

Forget the hypocrisy of a Fox personality attacking another network for failing to provide “independent analysis” (Wayne Simmons, anyone?) And while you’re at it, throw out the irony of Megyn Kelly’s critique on “honest analysis.” That she herself has difficulties with honest analysis does not for one minute make Lewandowski’s more honest. Pot calling kettle black, sure, but she’s right.

CNN has, despite a recurring obsession with downed planes, stood out at times as a voice of reason in the mainstream media, and at other times acted more like a teenager with a crush, even while Trump his hurling insults. Such is the case with its hiring of Lewandowski.

As Michael Calderone at Huffington Post pointed out, the network’s hiring of Lewandowski “shows little regard for treatment of the press.”

CNN was right to call the campaign manager’s conduct inexcusable, but more inexcusable by far is its own hiring of the thuggish Lewandowski.

Lewandowski’s hiring was first reported by Politico.