No one in the media elites today is alarmed at a revolving door between the “objective media” and partisan politics. Politics seems more like a qualification than a disqualification.
NBC News announced on air that legal correspondent Laura Jarrett was going to be a co-host of their Saturday “Today” news program. She’s the daughter of Valerie Jarrett, the closest White House aide to Barack and Michelle Obama, and who is now a senior adviser to the Obama Foundation.
Laura Jarrett is also the daughter-in-law of Bas Balkissoon, a former Liberal Party member of the Canadian Parliament. She first revolved into the “objective media” at CNN in 2016, and just transferred to NBC this January. She has routinely appeared on “Today” and “NBC Nightly News” to opine on Trump scandals.
She’s replacing White House correspondent Kristen Welker on Saturday mornings, because Welker is moving to Sundays and hosting “Meet the Press.” Welker registered as a Democrat in Rhode Island and then Washington, D.C., and her mother and father, Julie and Harvey Welker, have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates. It’s close to $20,000 to Barack Obama alone. They’ve also donated $3,300 for Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign and $2,100 for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 run against Trump. Her mother unsuccessfully ran in the Democrat primary for Philadelphia City Council in 1999.
Current “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd came to NBC through Tim Russert, who worked for New York Democrats Mario Cuomo and Daniel Moynihan before joining NBC. Todd worked for Tom Harkin’s 1992 presidential campaign in his college years. His wife, Kristian Denny Todd, is a direct-mail fundraiser and strategist for Democrat candidates. Her firm earned about $2 million from the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in 2016, but Todd never mentions that when Bernie Sanders sits down with Todd on Sundays.
MSNBC is becoming the home of former Biden-Harris spokespeople. Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki hosts a show on Sunday, and former Kamala Harris spokeswoman Symone Sanders has a show on Saturday. Alicia Menendez, the daughter of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has a show on both weekend days. Rev. Al Sharpton never actually revolved — he keeps his racial ambulance-chasing job on weekdays.
CNN must be jealous. They just hired Biden communications director Kate Bedingfield right out of the White House, and also picked up Jamal Simmons from the Kamala Harris press shop. CNN reported in February that Bedingfield was “expected to be a consultant to Biden’s anticipated reelection campaign,” but they talked her into a different kind of public relations.
Republicans do this, too, but differently. Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino joined Fox News — after Bush left office. Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany joined Fox News — after her president left office. All these newly arriving Bidenites are salted in cable news to share the Democrat talking points while their Biden-Harris team runs for reelection.
We could ask the question if Karine Jean-Pierre will be dumped for poor performance so she can immediately join MSNBC’s weekend lineup. But competence isn’t really an issue there.
The only real question is whether the former Biden publicists sound any more like Biden publicists than the “objective” folks who came up the ranks in an “old-school” way, with a decade or three inside the “news” business. It’s often hard to tell the difference.
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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