Mild-mannered Dean Baquet, the editor of the New York Times, is mad. Why? Because cable news is biased, especially Fox, and because CNN hired Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager for Donald Trump, and as a result “was in danger of damaging both itself and democracy.” He described Lewandowski as “a political shill.”
Gosh, cable news is biased. What insight. It’s a tragic turn of events given the honorable history of cable news — like that time that Chelsea Clinton was hired by MSNBC for $600,000 a year. Here’s how the New York Times reported that story — spoiler alert: the word “shill” didn’t appear in its account — back in 2011:
NBC announced Monday that it has hired Chelsea Clinton to become a full-time special correspondent for NBC News.
The appointment was immediate. Ms. Clinton will begin work on stories that NBC expects to use as part of its “Making a Difference” series, which runs on “NBC Nightly News,” said Steve Capus, president of NBC News…
Ms. Clinton, who was not available for comment, said in a statement: “I hope telling stories through ‘Making a Difference’ — as in my academic work and nonprofit work — will help me to live my grandmother’s adage of ‘Life is not about what happens to you, but about what you do with what happens to you.’ ” [Editorial note: Ehatever the fuck that means.]
One person close to Ms. Clinton said she had been quietly raising her profile for some time, though the public had not been completely aware of it. That person, who asked not to be identified because of a reluctance to speak for her, said Ms. Clinton had been more active in causes backed by her family’s William J. Clinton Foundation, and that she had, in fact, spoken at more than 400 town halls in 2008 in support of her mother’s candidacy.
Look, not to stereotype but Lewandowski looks and sounds like a brainless frat boy and is obviously a shill for Trump. It’s pathetic that CNN hired him. But in fairness to CNN, it was pathetic long before it hired Lewandowski. Two words: Wolf Blitzer.
It would be a lot easier to take Baquet seriously if he hadn’t turned the New York Times, by its own admission, into a semi-official extension of the Clinton campaign. And it would also be easier to take Baquet seriously if his own op-ed page wasn’t dominated by Clinton shills that I call The Execrables: Tom Friedman, Paul Krugman, Charles Blow, Gail Collins, Frank Bruni and Nicholas Kristof (more on him next week), to name a few.