CNN's Berman Warns Ex-Trump Aide Is 'Hardly Impartial Reporter' Before Letting Him Speak

February 5th, 2019 10:09 AM

When's the last time you remember a CNN host—before permitting a former Dem official to speak—telling such guest, and by extension the audience, "you are hardly an impartial reporter?"

Like never, maybe? And CNN brings on a pile of former Obama and Clinton officials from Jim Clapper on down. (Oh, and psst, CNN hires former Obama officials as "impartial reporters." See Jim Sciutto.) 

But that's what happened to former Trump aide Marc Short when he appeared on this morning's New Day. Before permitting Short to report on his conversation with President Trump regarding the SOTU, co-host John Berman said:

"Now Marc Short, you are hardly an impartial reporter here, having worked for the President, but we would like to go to you as a reporter first this morning, because you've spoken to President Trump in the last few days about this State of the Union address."

Short greeted the disclaimer politely, and just mentioned that the President had indicated his intention to declare that there were opportunities for Republicans and Democrats to work together, that despite coverage of all the Trump chaos -- CNN's favorite subject -- they've successfully passed prison reform, "right to try" legislation on unapproved drugs, and money to fight opioid addiction. 

The disclaimer was stranger since Short was appearing with Screamin' Howard Dean and David Gregory, who certainly deserves "you are hardly an objective reporter."

An hour later, former Trump official Cliff Sims came on, who just wrote a flashy tell-all on the Trump White House. He didn't get that "hardly an impartial reporter" disclaimer, despite his contacts at his old workplace. Berman began: "Cliff, I do understand you've been in contact with one of the speechwriters preparing the State of the Union tonight. What do you hear the president will be trying to do?"

Maybe next time, CNN can skip the aural alert and substitute a flashing chyron at the bottom of the screen: "WARNING: guest a former Trump official in good standing! Take statements with big grain of salt!"