WTF MSM!? Of journalist disclosures and tiny violins

· April 17, 2018  
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A tiny violin in someone's hands
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Courtroom bombshell …

Hannity and Cohen … On Monday, lawyers for President Donald Trump’s private attorney Michael Cohen were in federal court in New York City arguing about who should get to look over records seized last week in order to determine what was protected by attorney-client privilege. During that hearing, the judge forced Cohen’s attorneys to name Sean Hannity as a client of Cohen’s protected by attorney-client privilege. Hannity later in the day denied that he had ever used Cohen for any legal proceeding, and said he never paid an invoice from Cohen. He admitted asking Cohen for advice in brief conversations.

That brings up the question of whether Sean Hannity should have disclosed his relationship with Cohen while interviewing him. He could simply have said that he had an existing relationship with Cohen when he introduced Cohen as a guest on the show. It needn’t have changed any of the coverage.

I have had past business relationships with people whom I’ve mentioned in my writing for Conservative Review. When I write about those people, a disclosure goes in an editor’s note. It’s good practice.

CNN’s laughable responses … CNN’s Chris Cuomo went off on Hannity, telling his audience that if you have a relationship that could “sniff of conflict,” you should disclose it. Really, Chris? Cuomo is the scion of a powerful Democratic family in New York. His brother is the current governor of the state. Does he disclose this every time he talks about politics or government actions in the state of New York? Or does he just assume people know? LevinTV host Mark Levin made the point on twitter this morning.

Furthermore, Cuomo’s network employs former Obama administration political appointee Jim Sciutto to report on foreign affairs and national security. Sciutto has never disclosed on air his Obama ties when talking about Obama-era foreign affairs or when using former colleagues to attack the Trump administration. Michelle Malkin gave Sciutto a Crapweasel Award for this stunning lack of journalistic integrity. You can watch the presentation here.

Neither of those pass Cuomo’s “sniff test.”

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Well then …

Boycott backfires … The advertisers that fled Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program will probably be back soon. Why? Because the David Hogg-led boycott has led to a 20 percent increase in viewers for Ingraham’s program. The free market has spoken, and Ingraham appears to be the long-term winner. The same dynamic may be in play in the 2017 elections, as conservative voters have motivation on the gun control issue pushed by Hogg.

What ABC didn’t ask … Real Clear Politics’ Peter Berkowitz is out with a list of “10 questions that ABC didn’t ask [James] Comey.” The former press secretary for President Bill Clinton, George Stephanopoulos – talk about a conflict of interest that isn’t disclosed – tried to paint Comey as the man who lost Hillary Clinton the election, pushed him on the fitness and impeachment of President Trump, and spent five hours with Comey. Berkowitz’s list of questions spans Comey’s career. It includes questions on the Valerie Plame investigation, the disparity between the treatment of people in Trump’s orbit and treatment of people in Clinton’s, tougher questions about Comey’s handling of Clinton, and McCabe’s lies to Comey as outlined in the OIG report. They are all good questions.

Because of Stephanopoulos’ personal politics and relationship with the Clintons, he was unprepared to ask those questions. Paging Chris Cuomo – where’s your outrage about this interview?

Tell a friend …

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Author: Rob Eno

Rob Eno is the editor of Blaze Media’s WTF MSM!? newsletter.