Reviews | What Mick Mulvaney has in common with Tim Russert and Chris Matthews

One-sided food fights like this erupt every time a news organization steps out of the ranks of professional journalists to hire a politician or political operative to spice up its coverage, according to a news pundit Michael Socolow and others have recorded. Although reporters hire both Republicans and Democrats, there has recently been a demonstrable addition of MAGA voices to news ops, especially at places like CNN, which at one time was almost cluttered with MAGA fish. CBS News co-chairman Neeraj Khemlani previously defended the logic of hiring Republicans in an interview with his morning show staffers. “If you look at some of the people we’ve hired on a contributor basis, being able to make sure we have access to both sides of the aisle is a priority because we know the Republicans are going to pick up the slack, most likely. , mid Road “, he saidaccording to Washington Post.

The reliance of some news organizations on politicians, especially Republican politicians, demonstrates that for many media outlets, Republicans, those who lean Republican, and even those who speak Republican represent the “other” politics. Although you can find Republicans in traditional Washington and New York newsrooms, sometimes you need a magnifying glass. A 2014 survey found that only 7% of all journalists identified as Republicans compared to 28% Democrats, with 50% identifying as independents.

If it is safe to estimate that among Politics journalists, the Republican-Democrat divide is only widening, so affirmative action to gain the political expertise needed to cover Republicans and speak credibly to Republican readers and viewers seems warranted. I have neither the time nor the patience to explain the low representation of Republicans in newsrooms. Do they lack initiative? Do the editors have any prejudices against them? Is it a question of self-selection? But what emerges from an informal census of TV newsrooms is that an abundance of Democrats who have limited journalistic experience can be found. George Stephanopoulos, late Tim Russert, Bill Moyers, Bill Bradley, Jesse Jackson, Jennifer Granholm, Jen Psaki (soon to be an MSNBCer), Chris Matthews, Dee Dee Myers, Donna Brazile and others have moved from politics to political journalism without facing much criticism.

Certainly, Mick Mulvaney is not Tim Russert. For one thing, his powers of prognosis suck. “If he loses, Trump will graciously relent,” reads the big title in an editorial he wrote for the the wall street journal in November 2020. On the other hand, it also seemed defend a quid pro quo for military aid to Ukraine: “We do this all the time with foreign policy.” For yet another, if we can blame Bill Moyers for the bad things that happened while he was Lyndon Johnson’s acting chief of staff, we can probably blame Mulvaney for the badness that has waned over the 15 months ( 2019-20) where he was Trump’s leader. Staff.

But being a scoundrel doesn’t disqualify you from working as a journalist. If reporters and editors had to be pure to serve, newsrooms would be populated with kittens and rabbits instead of a bunch of keyboard-pounding flawed mortals. The anti-Mulvaney protests (here’s the Los Angeles TimesMichael Hiltzik doing his best) seem to confuse the man’s job with a lifetime achievement award. While I wouldn’t hire Mulvaney to fish moldy leaves off my eaves, if the CBS News co-chair thinks a man of such disrepute will help him catch a few scoops, well, that’s journalism.

What annoys some journalists most about the appointment of Mulvaney in particular, and the hiring of other non-journalists for journalism jobs, in general, is that it corrodes the idea that to be a journalist , you need to have experience in the field, or at least a degree in journalism, to succeed. This, of course, is wrong, even though it might hurt the feelings of some journalists. CBS News’ desperation to improve its conservative and Republican sourcing by hiring a tarnished toady Trump doesn’t speak well of its recruiting practices and editorial development programs. There is a vibrant conservative press establishment, with respectable magazines, solid websites and substacky blogs from which deeply sourced and extremely intelligent journalists could be hired. If you think you need conservatives, let loose, CBS!

CBS and Neeraj Khemlani could be wrong about Mulvaney’s ability to help them locate and report news. It could also be a mistake to “reward” Mulvaney’s service to Trump with prestigious and powerful work. But if so, that’s CBS News’ mistake to make.


Did Robert Costa, who previously worked at National exam and recently joined CBS News a curator? In 2013 he noted of his opinions, I “put them aside and try to stick to the reports and the analysis”. Send shelves to [email protected]. My email alerts are apolitical. My Twitter stream readings National exam back and forth. As an anarchist, my RSS food is unusable.