Patterico's Pontifications


CNN anchor not allowed to touch Rush

Filed under: Media Bias — Charlie (Colorado) @ 9:22 am

In today’s Washington Post, its gossip columnist, Richard Leiby has a piece on Daryn Kagan, CNN’s midmorning anchor , who reportedly has a relationship with Rush Limbaugh and who isn’t allowed to “touch news regarding her sweetie pie”.

Fair enough. CNN is acknowledging that it doesn’t work to have reporters/editors/talking heads report on people that are, in my words, ‘near and dear to their heart’. Kagan has a thing for Limbaugh, CNN believes this can affect what she says or doesn’t say about him – so she doesn’t get to say anything about him at all.

Ah, but CNN is rather inconsistent here. Paul Begala has a ‘thing’ for Kerry. Maybe not so much FOR Kerry as AGAINST Bush. But there’s no denying that Begala is all caught up emotionally in this election. So, of course, CNN keeps him off the air? Not quite. Where’s the consistency?

And the same holds true elsewhere in the media. Mary Mapes , not exactly a producer with no liberal leanings, is allowed, even encouraged by CBS to dig into anti-Bush stories. With the media likely to vote 80%+ for Kerry, you can’t tell me there’s not a whole lot of people with some serious emotional baggage there – has CNN or any other network or any newspaper taken any pro-Kerry reporters off the political beat? And, it’s not sufficient to switch them to covering Bush (even were that to happen) – they hate Bush, so to analogize Kagan’s situation, it would having a reporter cover a story about their ex…. it doesn’t work, at least not if you’r looking for balanced coverage.

And, it’s not just in politics that this takes place. There are pro-abortion reporters who cover the subject for their papers/networks. You can’t tell me these reporters are not emotionally tied up in this matter – yet the only thing papers such as the Washington Post do is prevent their reporters from marching in pro-abortion rallies.

Bias, anyone? The blogosphere reports, you decide…

And, for anyone who is interested, the latest chapter of The Washington Post: Just as Biased is up at guess where.

4 Responses to “CNN anchor not allowed to touch Rush”

  1. These accusations are silly. Are you suggesting that it should be policy that any reporter with a political opinion should not be allowed to cover stories related to that issue?

    If you can’t see the distinction between someone shilling for their significant other and someone with a political position covering an election, your judgement is the one in question.

    And Paul Begala, liberal shill that he is, isn’t a news anchor. His biases are well known and even encouraged on most of the venues he frequents.

    And even the Mapes comment is off base. It may be true that many people at CBS have a political axe to grind that may cause them to cover anti-Bush stories more than not. But it wasn’t her political views as much as her lack of professionalism in this instance that got her in trouble.

    It would certainly be better, in my opinion, if the political leanings of reporters and producers of the news were known and published. But that is quite different than saying people with political positions should be excluded.

    It would be innappropriate for Maria Shriver to cover Arnie or for Kagan, if the gossip is correct, to cover Rush. But Begala can talk about Republicans just like Rush can calk about liberals.

    Rush on drug addicts might even be interesting.

    Gedanken (dfd2e7)

  2. CNN’s and NBC’s decision to keep Kagan off Limbaugh and Shriver off Arnie is proof that CNN and NBC don’t buy the idea that reporters can truly set aside their biases when it comes to reporting on a subject the reporter deeply cares about.

    There are many reporters who have an emotional stake in the outcome of this election that comes pretty close to whatever emotions Kagan might have for Limbaugh…. or Shriver has for Arnie.

    So if it’s good policy to keep Kagan and Shriver off their loved ones, it should be policy to keep their other staff off their loved ones…whether it’s keeping the the liberal reporter off covering Kerry (although to be fair, you can’t have a conservative covering Kerry either), keeping the pro-abortion reporter from covering the abortion wars or so on.

    Otherwise, the media is being inconsistent. And I argue, inconsistency in this case is evidence of bias.

    steve (e37e4c)

  3. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour is married to James Rubin, Kerry campaign adviser and that hasn’t stopped her reporting on the dreaded “Bush administration’s failed policies.”

    Kathleen A (a02694)

  4. Otherwise, the media is being inconsistent. And I argue, inconsistency in this case is evidence of bias.

    I’m arguing that having an opinion is the definition of bias. I don’t want to restrict reporters to only those people too disinterested, too ignorant, or too stupid to form an opinion on a subject that they are covering.

    But you ignored my first point which was that anchors like Kagan have to meet a much different standard than a pundit like Begala. Begala is asked to comment exactly because he is biased and partisan.

    You also are explicitly equating support for a candidate in a political dog fight with the emotional and psychological bond of a more intimate relationship. I think there is an great different between those two types of bias in both quality and degree.

    Gedanken (dfd2e7)

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