Two days after Puck’s Dylan Byers reported that CNN’s Oliver Darcy was shaken by the proverbial call to the principal’s office for insubordination, Darcy defenders pushed back Sunday night and comically tried to downplay the notion that it was bad news for Darcy to have been called to CNN boss Chris Licht’s office to discuss his analysis trashing his own employer for hosting a town hall with former President Trump.
Darcy’s allies and Semafor may try to have you think otherwise, but other than being told you were being promoted, receiving an award, or discussing, say, a loss in the family, receiving a summons to the office of the president of your company with other executives is never a good sign.
Semafor’s Max Tani had the details in co-founder Ben Smith’s weekly media newsletter: “Two people with knowledge of the meeting told Semafor that Darcy was not pleased with the depiction of the meeting, which noted that Licht told Darcy that he was emotional and had ‘put the fear of God’ in the CNN media correspondent.”
Earth to Darcy: How does it feel to perhaps have received a taste of your own medicine? Not so fun having anonymous sources denounce you, is it?
Tani further spun that “sources” told him Darcy rode in so he could stand his ground because the trashing of his bosses after the Trump town hall was merely “accurately reflecting internal sentiment and reporting on external criticism.”
Insisting it was much ado about nothing, Tani added, the meeting “ended relatively cordially with Licht telling Darcy that he supported him.”
Herein lies another problem with anonymous sources in which one set say one thing, then another set come out afterwards to deny what the first set said to begin with. And, as readers, we’re all left in the dark.
Tani did have a kicker in which he shared “Darcy has wondered to colleagues whether he should resign or if he will be fired.”
And there it is. If Darcy were to be fired, it’d be a strong signal to CNN employees, media watchers, and viewers that Licht is intent on materializing calls from his Warner Bros. Discovery bosses to haul CNN back to the center and away from obsessions with Fox News and anti-conservative venom.