I really am not trying to pick on Brian Stelter, CNN’s indefensible blight on broadcast media ethics, but wow. He tweeted,
Then, seemingly a blink of the eye later, his employer announced that it was hiring Andrew McCabe as a commentator. Never mind the fact that Stelter spends his own position of “fame and privilege”—Did he really refer to Sean Spicer’s gig on “Dancing With The Stars” that way? —-lying his head off, shamelessly spinning for his rotting network, and generally making “broadcast news ethics watchdog” as much of an oxymoron as “Hart to Hart” dramaturg. CNN’s hiring McCabe is infinitely more outrageous than either of the hires he was criticizing. It’s so obvious it hurts. Yet like Sgt. Schultz in “Hogan’s Heroes,” Stelter sees nothing.
McCabe served as acting FBI director after James Comey was quite properly fired in May, 2017. Then McCabe was fired himself for lying to the FBI’s inspector general at least four times regarding his leaks to the press. (Leaks to the press by people in positions like McCabe’s are crimes.)
Next came information that McCabe, while at the bureau, was involved in the illicit and quite probably illegal efforts to spy on the Trump campaign in 2016, as well as to smother the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email deceptions. McCabe also admitted that he discussed strategies to remove the President from office with top national security officials.
Just a hard-working, loyal, patriotic public servant, that McCabe.
As the AG report on his misconduct neared release, McCabe quickly created a GoFundMe page that portrayed himself as a victim of the Bad Orange Man. As Professor Turley pointed out, “He repeatedly increased the target goal and quickly raised over $500,000 from the hopelessly gullible.” This is called monetizing Trump hate for personal gain.
McCabe may yet be indicted, something neither Spicer nor Huckabee-Sanders face for doing their traditionally dirty and thankless job.
Stelter covered the hiring of McCabe on his weekly Sunday spin-fest; he could hardly avoid it. He offered no opinion of his own to match his positions on Spicer and Sanders, resorting to another CNN flack, Irin Carmon, who is a paid CNN analyst (No conflict of interest there!), to cover for the network, badly.
“People on the right said, ‘Well, you’re hiring McCabe. Why can’t Fox hire Sanders?’ Is there a difference?” Stelter asked . (Actually, fair individuals regardless of partisan affiliation asked, “How can these people protest against Sean Spicer being allowed to make a laughingstock of himself on a silly dance contest show and then turn around and hire someone with Andrew McCabe’s record for a position of trust?”)
“Of course there’s a difference,” said Carmon.
Now get this…
“Andrew McCabe is going to bring serious expertise with respect to the FBI and investigations. And he in no way was accused of standing in front of the American people and lying to them,” she said. “He was accused of lack of candor about talking to the press. The proportion, the scale and the substance are utterly non-comparable.”
That isn’t even competent spin! They aren’t comparable, all right: McCabe was found to have lied to investigators (“lack of candor”—hilarious. Try that one on the bar disciplinary committee, Andy.) into misconduct at the FBI. Others have been indicted for less. No press secretary has ever been indicted for obfuscating on behalf of a President, something every one of them did to varying degrees. It didn’t stop ABC from hiring a press secretary who covered up a President’s sexual assaults for years as its Sunday and morning anchor,
White House spokespersons are not law enforcement officers, like McCabe. His proven and admitted misconduct is so far, far beyond the worst characterization one could make of what Sanders and Spicer engaged in that they are in different dimensions. To CNN, and to its collection of paid liars like Stelter, who do exactly for CNN what Spicer and Sanders did for the White House, McCabe is a desirable hire for one reason only. He is a reliable anti-Trump mouthpiece, bitter, angry, partisan and unprincipled.
He’ll fit right in.