(TPM) Exclusive: After Obama Complaints, CNN Bans James Carville And Paul Begala From Appearing As Analysts Until Dem Primary Is Settled
January 24, 2008 -- 7:11 PM EST // //
Okay, this is interesting. I've just learned that CNN has told top Dem strategists James Carville, Paul Begala, and Robert Zimmerman -- who are CNN mainstays but are all Hillary supporters -- that they will not be doing any more political analysis on the network until the Democratic primary has reached a conclusion.
I'm also told that this move came after the Obama campaign repeatedly complained to high level officials at CNN about the presence of Carville and Begala on the network.
After I reached him today and pointed out that he hadn't been on CNN in some time, Carville confirmed to me that the network had told him that he wouldn't appear until the Dem primary is resolved.
Sam Feist, CNN's political director, also confirmed the decision to me. "As we got closer to the voting, we made a decision to make sure that all the analysts that are on are non-aligned," Feist said, adding that the decision had been made around the start of December. "Carville and Begala are two of the best analysts around and we look forward to seeing them on CNN plenty of times in the future, once the nominating process has ended."
Feist pointed out that a few other analysts aligned with campaign had been told the same, and added that aligned analysts would only be appearing in contexts where they were acting as campaign surrogates. Carville did appear on Larry King on Jan. 9 as a surrogate.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
CNN Cracks Down
This is interesting--given the marriages/revolving door between government, corporations and media talking-heads jobs, it's probably pretty well near impossible to find people who don't have connections to someone. Good for CNN for dropping these guys but there are a lot more who are problematic. I'm not sure I'd be able to tell the difference between someone appearing as an analyst one minute and a campaign "surrogate" the next. And how would you identify or clarify someone like Pat Buchanan? Or his sister? Or Mary Matalin? Or Joe Scarborough, former Republican congressman now functioning as an MSNBC commentator? The list is endless.