And now from WikiLeaks: A CNN non-scandal
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Reeling from a question-sharing scandal involving now-former contributor Donna Brazile, CNN is now getting more unwelcome attention from yet another WikiLeaks email dump. “WikiLeaks: DNC and CNN colluded on questions for Trump, Cruz,” reads the headline at the Washington Examiner.
The supporting evidence? In this WikiLeaks email here, Lauren Dillon of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on April 28 issues a plea to colleagues at the party offices:
Subject: Cruz on CNN
CNN is looking for questions.
Please send some topical/interesting ones.
Maybe a couple on Fiorina.
Someone please take point and send them all together by 3pm.
Just a few days before that, Dillon sought to activate the troops for a different CNN interview:
Subject: Trump Questions for CNN
Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Trump on Tues ahead of his foreign policy address on Wed.
Please send me thoughts by 10:30 AM tomorrow.
As the emails themselves attest, the Blitzer-Trump affair ended up being canceled.
Hammered with inquiries, CNN issued the following statement on this episode: “This is completely unremarkable. We have similar communications with Republicans. When preparing for interviews we are regularly sent suggestions from rival campaigns and political parties, both solicited and unsolicited. Casting a wide net to ensure a tough and fair interview isn’t just common media practice, it’s smart.”
At the risk of breaking a long-running streak of criticizing CNN, the Erik Wemple Blog agrees with the network on this one. If indeed it makes similar efforts to generate questions to place before Democrats, there’s nothing approaching a scandal or “collusion” or anything improper here. It looks like a patented case of a private communication taking on a slimy sheen just because it’s now public.
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