Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan slammed CNN’s hiring of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in an article published June 28.
Sullivan wrote that even in the “highly competitive, ratings-mad” cable news market, networks can cross a “bridge too far” and that CNN “ran blithely across that bridge and plunged into a sea of muck” by hiring Lewandowski to give political commentary on his former boss.
Sullivan wrote, “Bringing Lewandowski onboard is an astonishing reward for behavior that should cause him to be shunned by respectable journalistic organizations,” and she called into question the value of hiring someone with a non-disclosure agreement that prohibits him from “uttering a negative word about his former boss on air.” These problems became more evident in Lewandowski’s “milquetoast commentary” on Trump’s June 28 speech, in which he spent five minutes campaigning for Trump. From Sullivan’s June 28 column:
Even in the highly competitive, ratings-mad, hardball-playing world of cable television, there should be a bridge too far.
In hiring Donald Trump’s fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, CNN ran blithely across that bridge and plunged into a sea of muck.
Bringing Lewandowski onboard is an astonishing reward for behavior that should cause him to be shunned by respectable journalistic organizations.
In a deeply reported profile in March, Politico depicted Lewandowski as a bully who once called a female colleague a “c---” in front of co-workers at the Washington advocacy group where he once worked. (Lewandowski would not comment to Politico on the altercation with his female colleague.)
The profile reported that he was “rough with reporters and sexually suggestive with female journalists, while profanely berating conservative officials and co-workers he deemed to be challenging his authority.”
As campaign manager, Lewandowski banned news organizations from rallies and maintained Trump’s media blacklist, which includes The Washington Post, as well as BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, Politico, the Des Moines Register and many others. His hostility included CNN at least once. Noah Gray, a CNN producer covering Trump, tweeted last November that as he filmed the crowd’s reaction to a protester at a rally, Lewandowski ordered him “inside the pen or I’ll pull your credentials.”