So, Donald Trump fires his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski on Monday, June 20th, and CNN hires Lewandowski to be a political commentator on Thursday, June 23rd. Why? This move makes absolutely no sense and is proving to be a terrible mistake, at least in the eyes of the viewing public.
First of all, Mr. Lewandowski signed a non-disclosure agreement that likely includes “During the term of your service and at all times thereafter, you hereby promise and agree not to demean or disparage publicly the company, Mr. Trump, any Trump company, any family member, or any family member company.” So he cannot do ‘unbiased’ reporting. Second, Mr. Lewandowski has historically shown a lack of respect bordering on volatile toward members of the press. Point in case: his manhandling of Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields at a campaign rally. Though charges were dropped, the incident happened, and he was caught on tape … a video that every news viewer saw, so there is no plausible denial. An investigation by Politico back in March reported that he was “rough with reporters and sexually suggestive with female journalists, while profanely berating conservative officials and co-workers he deemed to be challenging his authority.”
Most shook their head, on hearing that CNN had snatched up Lewandowski so quickly, and asked the same question I asked: WHY? What has he to offer us, the viewers? The answer, it turns out, is nothing, possibly even less than nothing. And what has he to offer CNN in exchange for a reportedly fat salary? Quite possibly a loss of viewers and the beginning of their fall into the pit of news network oblivion. For my part, I did not turn CNN on this morning, as I usually do, nor have I checked their website. There are a handful of CNN anchors/reporters that I respect, that I see as relatively intellectual, thought-provoking, and yet non-confrontational, including Christiane Amanpour, Peter Bergen, Wolf Blitzer, Donna Brazile, Bill Press, and Fareed Zakaria. The addition of a crass, right-wing former Trump advisor is a slap in the face to these men and women, in fact to all serious journalists.
Thus far, Lewandowski has proven to be as much of a dud as we all anticipated. Here are a few of his comments regarding his former employer’s shenanigans:
- “Mr. Trump’s best speech of the presidential cycle.”
- “This is a very, very strong message for him and, I think, the best speech he’s given all cycle.”
- “The speech was delivered clearly, articulately, and again, the best speech of the campaign so ”
- “Trump is the only person who’s going to save this country for my children.”
Oh please, shoot me now!
When asked by fellow reporter Alisyn Camerota why Donald Trump went to the UK and criticized the president, when there is an unwritten rule that this simply is not good etiquette, he deflected the question and muttered a bunch of gibberish about how wonderful it was that Trump and family built such a wonderful golf course in Scotland. More recently, he defended Trump’s use of the Star of David to attack Hillary Clinton.
Those are the facts of the matter. Now for my speculation. Lewandowski’s termination from Donald Trump’s employ seemed a bit enigmatic at the time. There appeared to be no hard feelings on either side; Lewandowski expressed no anger, disappointment, or other emotion that would be normal and expected under the circumstances, especially one with a proven volatile temperament. Within hours of his termination, Lewandowski interviewed with both MSNBC and CNN. Three days later he is hired on by CNN as a political commentator despite the fact that CNN executives had to know his history toward journalists and had to know that he was bound by a non-disclosure agreement. (In addition, the man has the personality of a dead sloth, but that is not relevant) That said, I cannot help wondering if this was a pre-conceived plan to plant a Trumpian in one of the most-viewed cable news networks in the nation.
Though most news agencies lean at least slightly toward one side or another when it comes to politics and social issues, CNN has a history for being among the least biased of the major news providers. I am not doling them stars here, as they have other faults, but overall, they have had commentators and reporters from both sides of the aisle and try to present both sides somewhat fairly. They certainly top MSNBC and Fox! However, this latest hiring is not only a push to the right, but to a specific candidate on the right. Since he emphatically defended Trumps anti-semitic tweet last week, it will be quite interesting to see if CNN has drawn any line in the sand, and if so, where that line lies. Perhaps by next year it will be called DNN … “Donnie’s News Network”.
Then there is the matter of salary. It is well-documented that Mr. Lewandowski earned $20,000 per month plus the benefit of an apartment, and I am certain other ‘benefits’ while working as Donald Trump’s campaign manager. The base salary alone comes to $240,000. But, some months Trump paid Lewandowski as much as $75,000. So, some simple math, simply averaging the two, and Mr. Lewandowski was quite possibly earning about $570,000 per year, not including his apartment. When CNN President Jeff Zucker hired Lewandowski, rumour had it that his contract was for $500,000. Zucker later denied the rumour, saying “I can assure you we are paying him nowhere near $500,000.” Really? So, Lewandowski is willing to take a huge salary cut simply to sit in front of a camera with his powdered nose and say nice things about his former boss? I don’t think so.
I believe that Lewandowski continues on the Trump payroll to this day and beyond. I believe this is a huge farce to plant Lewandowski in a major news network to toot the Trumpet in an attempt to recruit even more lemmings to walk over the cliff. No, I have no proof of this, it is strictly speculation on my part. However, there are far too many curious aspects, too many unanswered questions surrounding the entire matter. To use the tired old phrase, ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ … and it is getting smokier here than an old backroom pool hall!