CNN is becoming increasingly aggressive in countering the propaganda blitz of Trump administration surrogates who come on their airwaves to pimp the president’s latest canned talking points.
Yesterday the cable news network’s host Poppy Harlow threatened to cut off an interview with White House spokesperson Brian Morgenstern after he tried to baselessly accuse The New York Times of coordinating their release of Donald Trump’s tax return information with the Democrats as part of a political hit job.
This morning, anchor Jim Sciutto’s interview with Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh turned into an on-air shout fest after the CNN host pursued a line of questioning about the blockbuster revelations about the president’s now-documented tex avoidance schemes that allowed him to pay no taxes at all for 10 years and only $750 for 2016 and 2017, his first year in office.
Murtaugh was seemingly perturbed that Sciutto didn’t limit his queries to the topic he believed he had been invited to discuss — tonight’s first debate between Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
When Sciutto sprayed Murtaugh with a series of detailed questions about Trump’s taxes and his profitability as a businessman, the Trump campaign communications director launched into a series of attacks on CNN and accused Sciutto — who had worked in the State Department in the Beijing Embassy during the Obama administration — of still “working for your old boss.”
Interrupting the anchor’s questions by talking over them, Murtaugh was accused by Sciutto of evading the tough questions that he was asking.
The frustrated guest responded by attempting to bring the conversation back to this evening’s matchup.
“Jim, are you aware there’s debate tonight? Can we talk about that maybe?” Murtaugh asked his interrogator.
“I’m aware,” Sciutto quickly replied, “Can you answer this question? Does the president –”
That was all the CNN anchor could get out before being interrupted again by the Trump campaign communications director.
“Are you standing in for Joe Biden?” Murtaugh asked accusingly.
“No, I’m asking you questions — the communications director for –,” Sciutto tried to reply before Murtaugh again jumped in.
“I’m standing in a debate hall. See the debate hall, there’s a big event here tonight, are you aware of that?” he cattily replied.
It’s good to see that CNN is no longer just letting Trump surrogates spread their lies and gain free media exposure for their underfunded re-election campaign without challenging their assertions and pinning them down with the difficult questions that they are doing their best to evade and to equivocate upon.
You can watch the political fireworks for yourself in the video excerpt below.
Original reporting by Tom Boggioni at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.