CNN and contributor Corey Lewandowski continue to embarrass themselves, this time as Lewandowski wondered on-air if President Obama was “brought into Harvard University as a citizen who wasn't from this country.” Dozens of media figures slammed the former Trump campaign manager and CNN for allowing “birther crap” on its airwaves.
Lewandowski appeared on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon on August 2 and defended former boss Donald Trump’s obsession with President Obama’s birth certificate and college transcripts, asking: “Did he get in as a U.S. citizen, or was he brought into Harvard University as a citizen who wasn't from this country?”
Lewandowski’s idiotic remarks came shortly after CNN president Jeff Zucker publicly defended the network’s hiring of Lewandowski, claiming “he’s done a really nice job.” Numerous media experts have criticized Lewandowski’s hiring on ethical grounds since he has a reported non-disparagement agreement and he is “still receiving severance from the Trump campaign” while working for CNN. Media Matters president Bradley Beychok sent a letter to Zucker last month detailing the numerous ethical concerns surrounding Lewandowski.
Lewandowski embracing birtherism in 2016 should be the last straw for the network. Back in 2009, CNN was heavily criticized for employing “publicity nightmare” Lou Dobbs, who repeatedly pushed questions about President Obama’s birth certificate. CNN eventually parted ways with Dobbs, who now works for Fox. Will CNN finally do the same with Lewandowski and his disastrous tenure?
Dozens of media figures responded to the remarks with criticism of Lewandowski, CNN, and Zucker. Here is a sampling of the media reaction:
— Steve Cavendish (@scavendish) August 3, 2016
This is still nuts even after you sleep on it. pic.twitter.com/eCoUowBYqw
— Adrian Carrasquillo (@Carrasquillo) August 3, 2016
Anyone else wonder if @CLewandowski_ is still working for Trump campaign at CNN? Thought we were done with the birther crap.
— Kate Irby (@kateirby) August 3, 2016
Yeah, that Corey Lewandowski was a great journalistic hire!
— Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) August 3, 2016
To say things like this, Corey Lewandowski makes per annum what most people make in eight years https://t.co/AfokKxMWP4
— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) August 3, 2016
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) August 3, 2016
It's very fitting that a walking mediocrity like Lewandowski would be the one to bring this back up. https://t.co/EtE8DYNpLO
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) August 3, 2016
If Corey Lewandowski dropped an n-bomb while praising slavery, would that be enough for you to fire him? I can't tell from here.
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) August 3, 2016
I can see why Jeff Zucker is so proud of this hire. https://t.co/86idhOHriq
— Daniel Drezner (@dandrezner) August 3, 2016
— Joan Walsh (@joanwalsh) August 3, 2016
Remind me again why Lewandowski is on CNN's payroll? https://t.co/6ndnLQtXII
— Michael Hiltzik (@hiltzikm) August 3, 2016
Corey Lewandowski is getting paid $500,000 to be a network Trump purports to hate and bring up birtherism again. https://t.co/m2JJU2Gokk
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) August 3, 2016
Wow, that hack Corey Lewandowski just tried to legitimize the birther crap again on @donlemon. smh
— Sarah Rumpf (@rumpfshaker) August 3, 2016
— Trevor Aaronson (@trevoraaronson) August 3, 2016
And, we’re back to birtherism. Courtesy of Corey Lewandowski but also CNN. https://t.co/yv7NAdUGP0
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) August 3, 2016
So CNN is paying Corey Lewandowski to go on TV and bring up birther conspiracies then? https://t.co/XzPtDuR7kX
— Paige Lavender (@paigelav) August 3, 2016
.@cnn killing it with the birther hire. Congrats guys
— Justin Green (@JGreenDC) August 3, 2016
— Louise Roug (@louiseroug) August 3, 2016
More outrageous stuff from the Trump camp. Lewandowski on CNN: Was Obama a citizen when he went to Harvard? https://t.co/2BH4P4AW8c
— Mathieu von Rohr (@mathieuvonrohr) August 3, 2016
only 98 days until we never have to hear about corey lewandowski ever again https://t.co/CplUUx1Q5Z
— Erik Malinowski (@erikmal) August 3, 2016
— Morris Dallacosta (@MoDaCoatLFPress) August 3, 2016
— Julio Ojeda-Zapata (@ojezap) August 3, 2016
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) August 3, 2016
They shouldn't have ones like Lewandowski who are still being paid by campaign, have signed NDA preventing criticism https://t.co/BkE8iVQrNM
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) August 3, 2016
— Charles Ornstein (@charlesornstein) August 3, 2016
— Mike Drago (@MikeDrago) August 3, 2016
Corey Lewandowski was a birther this whole time too?
CONGRAULATIONS CNN!!! https://t.co/zire8jf1qx
— Josh Feldman (@feldmaniac) August 3, 2016
Corey Lewandowski goes full birther on CNN the same day Jeff Zucker defends him and says BuzzFeed isn't real news pic.twitter.com/TT6sshwOQ7
— Nathan McDermott (@natemcdermott) August 3, 2016
Just to review, Corey Lewandowski is getting paid by Donald Trump to get paid by CNN to say Obama might not have been born in the U.S.
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) August 3, 2016
— Joshua Holland (@JoshuaHol) August 3, 2016
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) August 3, 2016