CNN finally fires pro-Trump commentator Ed Martin

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

CNN has finally fired political commentator Ed Martin, who repeatedly embarrassed the network with his asinine paid commentary and attempts to delegitimize the network.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Jeremy Barr reported today that “a network spokesperson confirmed” that Martin “is out as a CNN contributor.”

Media Matters noted earlier today that Martin, once a regular commentator on the network, had completely disappeared from CNN since December 14. Martin’s last appearance was also the same day that Media Matters posted audio of him complaining about appearing on a panel with CNN commentators “who were just rabid feminists, actually racial, racists -- two of the women were racists, they just were racists, black racists.” He also said that when he was “on the set in the CNN studios,” he entered “into the swamp … the beast.”

CNN’s hiring of Martin in September 2017 was clearly a mistake from the beginning. In 2016, he told a tea party rally: “You're not racist if you don't like Mexicans. They're from a nation. If you don't think Muslims are vetted enough, because they blow things up, that's not racist.” Prior to his hiring by the network, Martin had also attacked CNN as “fake news” that hasn’t “been credible for a long time.” And he encouraged people to “move away from” the network because it was “obviously not telling the truth.”

Martin co-authored a 2016 book suggesting that only immigrants from European countries could have American “values” and argued that accepting immigrants “from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East” helps tear “apart our nation’s heritage and social fabric.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which has covered Martin for years, editorialized in November after his hiring by CNN that Martin is a “disgraced chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt and frequent unsuccessful Republican candidate for numerous offices” who will “say almost anything, and provocatively, making him catnip for cable news shows looking for glib bodies to fill their endless panels of ‘experts.’”

His commentary on CNN has been equally embarrassing. Martin attacked Leigh Corfman, the woman who reported that former Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore molested her as a child; defended Moore’s dismissive comments about slavery by claiming that “when the Jews were in bondage for years, they still loved each other”; and praised President Donald Trump’s “Pocahontas” slur against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Martin has also endorsed dishonest attacks against CNN after being hired by the network. He recently announced that his organization, the Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, would give an award for “uncovering the truth” to James O’Keefe, who has targeted CNN with deceitful stings. And he praised President Trump for ordering CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta out of the Oval Office, stating: “It’s really funny, I mean, it’s amazing to see.”

Media Matters president Angelo Carusone noted in a statement, “Hopefully now CNN will finally recognize that they’ll better serve their audience by hiring an inclusive group of honest brokers representing a wide range of perspectives rather than someone dedicated to defending one person, Donald Trump, no matter what.”