On Tuesday, a CNN executive defended the network’s decision to hire ex-Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) as a contributor even after CNN’s own top on-air talent spent the day bashing Duffy for his comments about House impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.
CNN Vice President Rebecca Kutler told Politico that CNN reports “from all points of view,” which means “having people who support the President’s policies.”
The exec claimed that Duffy’s comments and falsehoods (the contributor peddled President Donald Trump’s debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine and the DNC server on his very first day at the network) were offset by facts presented by CNN reporters.
“Our air speaks for itself,” she said, referring to the CNN personalities who openly slammed Duffy after he baselessly claimed Vindman had an “affinity for the Ukraine” due to his Ukrainian-American heritage.
“That’s a pretty stunning comment you made just there, and it’s remarkable and notable given that Laura Ingraham last night, in her apparent talking points, brought it up as well,” “New Day” co-host John Berman told Duffy immediately after he made the remark.
Berman replayed the clip several minutes later after Duffy was off the air, telling co-host Alisyn Camerota that it was a “shocking statement to make.”
Several hours later, CNN anchor Brianna Keilar tore into Duffy’s “anti-immigrant bigotry” and derided the former congressman’s past career as a reality TV star in comparison to Vindman’s service in the military.
“It’s an odd questioning of patriotism coming from Sean Duffy, the guy who spent part of his 20s on MTV’s ‘The Real World’ and ‘Real World/Road Rules Challenge,’ while Alexander Vindman spent his on foreign deployments, including one to Iraq, where he earned a purple heart after he was injured by a roadside bomb,” she said.
Jeffrey Toobin, a fellow CNN contributor, hit Duffy’s “insanity.”
“This Fox News insanity, and with all due respect to our new contributor former congressman Duffy, his insanity and frankly, anti-immigrant bigotry that is reflected in casting aspersions on Vindman is really something,” said Toobin.
And CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza listed Duffy’s comment as part of the GOP’s “appalling” attempts to undermine Vindman’s credibility.