Donna Brazile CNN case highlights sin of mixing politicos with journalists

Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Baltimore Sun.

On Sunday, I wrote about the dangers of mixing politicos with journalists in a post about ABC News adding Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to its election night team.

Today, comes CNN acknowledging its embarrassment, if not shame, over former analyst Donna Brazile's alleged role in feeding a question to Hillary Clinton's campaign in advance of a CNN televised town hall that aired in March, while Brazile was still employed by CNN.


It is the second time an email released from Wikileaks has pointed to Brazile being involved in Clinton's campaign getting advance information. The other incident involved a question at a town hall that also aired in March.

In a statement today, CNN said of Brazile that it is "completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor."


Brazile is the interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Rawlings-Blake, who ABC News hired in a similar analyst role for its election-night coverage, is secretary of the DNC.

In its statement, CNN said it had suspended Brazile's contract in July when she became interim chair and that it accepted her resignation from the channel on Oct. 14.

I have long complained about cable channels and networks presenting such political operatives alongside journalists in a way that can't help but confuse viewers. It allows ideologues and spin doctors to appropriate the credibility of the journalists and the news organizations that now employ them.

Meanwhile, the credibility of hard-working, honest journalists is diminished. This is one of the reasons for such deep distrust of the press.

CNN's hiring of Corey Lewandowski, a hardcore Trump operative, was the most egregious and widely denounced this year.

Between the criticism CNN has taken for Lewandowski and now the shame of being linked to giving a presidential candidate an unfair advantage, one can only hope the channel will rethink its use of political operatives.

They have not brought any clarity to this election. They have only brought confusion and more rancor to the civic conversation.

And, for all of the baggage and agendas they bring, I am guessing the election-night sets will still be wall to wall with them.