CNN, MSNBC Insiders Shudder at Idea of Hiring MAGA Mouthpieces

Of note:

If soon-to-be former Trump White House officials were hoping to snag paid talking-head roles at the major television networks, they may be in for a rude awakening.

It’s become a political ritual every four years: After each presidential election cycle, cable and broadcast news executives race to woo outgoing administration officials or top figures from the winning and losing campaigns for cushy roles as talking heads.

Not this time. With Trump’s top aides and advisers all taking their sycophancy to perilous new heights, actively participating in the outgoing president’s efforts to undermine the integrity of the vote, their utility as political pundits may have expired.

The Daily Beast spoke with executives and insiders from many of the top cable and broadcast news networks including CNN, MSNBC, CBS News, and ABC News, and most relayed the same message: Unless they retreat to the comforts of Fox News or even far-right outlets like Newsmax or One America News Network, the former Trump officials who have repeatedly lied to or denigrated reporters shouldn’t expect to land a network paycheck.

CNN, in particular, has traditionally been a safe landing spot for former top campaign officials, regardless of party affiliation. Just days after he exited Trump’s 2016 campaign team, former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski landed a commentator gig at CNN, despite his at-times physically aggressive relationship with the press and the fact that he had a non-disparagement agreement preventing him from speaking freely about the president. His colleague, Trump 2016 spokesman Jason Miller, was also hired by CNN, until being canned in 2018 over allegations (which he vehemently denied) that he impregnated a woman and secretly slipped her an abortion pill.

But the post-2020 outlook for former Trump campaign and administration officials will likely not be as friendly.

“Most of us probably are hoping that we will be seeing very little of these people—unless they are willing to be more honest,” a well-placed CNN insider told The Daily Beast. “The ones that are still out there who are well-known creeps like Jason Miller and Boris Epshteyn—nobody is going to be hiring these people.”

People who work with CNN chief Jeff Zucker relayed that he has been personally offended by the frequent and vicious attacks on CNN from Trumpworld figures, who’ve flamed any and all news outlets reporting remotely negative information on the president. Throughout the Trump era, the network became increasingly emboldened in taking the fight back to a hostile administration. Aside from on-air chyrons fact-checking various Trump lies in real-time, some of the network’s top news personalities have been publicly critical of the administration, in some cases abruptly ending interviews mid-broadcast when Trump officials refuse to substantively engage with the questions, and instead launch ad hominem attacks against journalists.

CNN insiders who spoke with The Daily Beast said there would likely be internal discontent if network bosses decided to pay ex-Trump officials who’ve repeatedly denigrated the network and are now working to undermine the 2020 election on behalf of the outgoing president. There seems to be zero interest, these sources said, in trying to poach even the most visible Trump campaign and White House staffers like Hogan Gidley and Tim Murtaugh—who both have extensive comms backgrounds in D.C.—or Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, a career right-wing pundit with previous stints at Fox News and CNN.

But Zucker himself may not be a part of the network’s future for long. It’s widely known in media circles that the CNN boss is unhappy with parent company WarnerMedia’s restructuring moves, which reduced his role, and has not yet re-upped his soon-to-expire contract. It’s possible that a CNN without Zucker—who personally meets with and vets many on-air contributors—could be more receptive to some ex-Trump officials, sources cautioned.

Unlike CNN, MSNBC does not have the same extensive history of paying partisan contributors for on-air appearances, though throughout Trump’s term the network cultivated a stable of so-called “Never Trump” Republicans. Multiple network insiders said the liberal-leaning, Comcast-owned cable network is unlikely to welcome any high-profile Trump loyalists, even gratis, to share their insights into the ongoing failures of a Joe Biden presidency.

“If you’re a person who was a career government official who happened to serve the Trump administration—somebody like Mark Esper or Elliott Abrams—we might have them on,” said an MSNBC insider, “but it’s likely that if Kayleigh McEnany has a book she’s selling, she will definitely be blacklisted. The same goes for someone like Hogan Gidley.”

But it’s not as though they aren’t already trying to get back into the professional pundit class. Even as top Trump officials entertain the president’s “voter fraud” delusions, one agent told The Daily Beast, “They’re all emailing saying, ‘Can you come meet up next week?’” Fox News reported on Wednesdaythat Trump’s communications director Alyssa Farah has been interviewing TV agents, pursuing a job after her White House exit. (Farah declined to respond to The Daily Beast on the record.)

Another MSNBC insider suggested that some shows like Morning Joe would consider booking less aggressive Trump supporters like former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, currently a contributor at ABC News, “because he has had enough access to be in the room for Trump’s debate prep and get COVID, but at least he’s rooted in reality.”

Meanwhile, predictions that MSNBC’s and for that matter CNN’s ratings are likely to decline under the relative normalcy of a Biden administration might be inoperative if Trump—as seems likely—continues to exert political and cultural influence and presides over a kind of resistance shadow presidency after leaving the White House on Jan. 20.

MSNBC, for one, found a solid business model over the past four years in the relentless narrative, especially in primetime, that Trump was a malevolent force whose presidency was apt to end at any moment in impeachment.

It’s possible, said one cable-news executive, that Trump could still drive ratings even when out of office. “It remains to be seen whether that would compel people to watch obsessively every day like they’ve been doing for the last four years,” the exec said.

Some networks also now have the added concern that Trump-loving contributors could use their perch to feed inside information to anti-media activists as part of Trumpworld’s ongoing efforts to discredit any and all of his critics.

“As a news org, how do you allow someone in your news organization who could James O’Keefe you in a second?” one network executive wondered, referring to the founder of Project Veritas, a right-wing group that uses hidden-camera footage to attempt to show bias at media organizations.

Of course, lack of network interest likely won’t stop some of the most high-profile Trump White House and admin figures from ever popping up again on television.

Gidley, McEnany, Murtagh, and others already get top billing when they appear on Fox News, where they could well join former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who regularly appears on-air and has a network contributor contract. Other former administration officials like Sean Spicer have found gigs at Newsmax, while others like Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon—the federally indicted (for alleged fundraising fraud) former White House chief strategist—have expended their talking-head energies in right-wing radio and podcasting.

“Can I see Mark Meadows appearing as an analyst on MSNBC? No, but on Fox News, yeah, for sure,” one network executive remarked, singling out Trump’s pugnacious chief of staff. Another cable-news insider suggested Fox News might look to hire several MAGA officials to boost its suddenly lagging credibility with Trumpkins angry with the network for calling the election for Biden and not fully playing along with the president’s baseless voter-fraud allegations.

And for networks like CNN and MSNBC—self-styled guardians of democratic norms and civil discourse—President-elect Joe Biden’s reconciliatory Saturday evening victory speech may loom large over decisions on whether to extend an olive branch to ex-Trump henchmen and women.

“Let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric. To lower the temperature. To see each other again,” he implored. “To listen to each other again. To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans.”

“Obviously there are 71 million people who voted for the president and there should be someone that represents their views and can talk about the political landscape,” another network executive told The Daily Beast.

And the networks are already seeking workarounds for representing conservative views on their air without hiring toxic ex-Trump officials. One TV industry insider said there has already been interest from various outlets in hiring the Republican Senate candidates who lost this year, as well as other outgoing GOP members of Congress. Like former Sen. Rick Santorum—a CNN contributor who essentially acts as a the network’s pro-Trump punching bag—these outgoing conservative lawmakers would likely be expected to speak about Republican politics as well as the ravings of the soon-to-be former president and his devoted base.

But some cable-newsers are skeptical that even the most repulsive ex-Trump officials will be totally shunned from a career in punditry.

“I won’t be surprised if some of the folks who were most reviled by mainstream media, Democrats, the resistance, etc., find pretty good jobs when this is over—in the media and in Washington—because ultimately politics is transactional,” said one CNN insider. “And the impulse to punish people leaving the Trump administration will be overshadowed by the impulse to profit off the people leaving the Trump administration.”

Source: CNN, MSNBC Insiders Shudder at Idea of Hiring MAGA Mouthpieces

Indo-Canadian women give birth to far more boys than women born in Canada

Interesting and disturbing study:

The research, presented in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and the online CMAJ Open, looks at more than 6 million births in Canada and reveals that a greater presence of boys among Indian-born mothers may in part be linked to abortions in the second trimester, when parents can learn the baby’s sex.

The birth data was compiled from databases administered by Statistics Canada and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto between 1990 and 2011, and 1993 to 2012, respectively.

“The main implication is that among some immigrant communities, males are placed at a higher value than females. This is not just about abortions, it is about gender equality,” said lead author Marcelo Urquia of St. Michael’s Hospital. “I hope that this is conducive to a respectful debate on the value of girls and women in today’s Canadian society.”

His study newly exposes a relationship between induced abortions and the previously reported large numbers of boys among Ontario’s Indian community, said Urquia, noting the data likely explains an imbalance in the rest of Canada too. Some of the “deficit” of girls may be due to “implantation of male embryos,” said Urquia, but the data is insufficient.

While the natural odds of having a boy over a girl are slightly higher, they are consistent across the globe: up to 107 boys for every 100 girls. But Indian-born mothers living in Canada with two children had 138 boys for every 100 girls. In Ontario, that number inflated even more among Indian-born women with two daughters, who then gave birth to 196 boys for every 100 girls.

After abortions, the numbers rise dramatically: 326 boys after one abortion, 409 boys after multiple abortions, and 663 boys for every 100 girls following multiple abortions in the second trimester, when doctors can determine the sex of the fetus.

Miscarriages, or spontaneous abortions, were not linked to the births of more boys, the study found.

The implication is that the disproportionate ratios are a result of “sex discrimination fuelled by son preference” among people from Asian countries, particularly India, whose immigrants have the highest documented male to female ratio in the world, the study says. The new research focuses on immigrants from India as they contribute the most to immigrant births in the country, though disproportionate male births have been observed in other communities as well. The research found an imbalance among Chinese immigrants, but this could not be linked to abortion.

Data did not indicate how long Indian immigrants had lived in Canada and whether that impacted the sex ratio. Nor did it indicate what country the baby’s grandparents were from. These are questions for future research, said Urquia.

“We are currently looking at whether the skewed sex ratios diminish with time after immigration. The idea is that exposure to a more gender equal environment, such as Canada, will result in placing more value on females over time,” he said.

With this new research, it’s no longer a question of whether prenatal sex discrimination exists. It is evident over the last two decades across Canada. The “real question,” said researcher Abdool S. Yasseen III in a published commentary on the studies, is “why this practice persists, particularly in a Canadian society that espouses sex equality.”

For Baldev Mutta, CEO of Brampton’s Punjabi Community Health Services, it’s a question he and other community leaders will have to face. With this new research, he says, it is “time for some soul searching,” in the country’s Indian community.

Source: Indo-Canadian women give birth to far more boys than women born in Canada | Toronto Star

Don’t call it diversity, call it real life

ABC President Paul Lee on diversity in television programming:

ABC is not on a mission to change TV, Lee insisted. He sees it as reflecting society as it is today.

“We think that’s our job,” he said. “Its not so much diversity as authenticity, if you’re reflecting America. We think these shows are deeply relatable, When I watch Black-ish or when I watch Cristela, I am one of those families.”

……ABC president Lee said his own background as an outsider – a British immigrant who studied Portuguese at Oxford and worked in Brazil before settling down in the U.S. – has helped give him a different perspective.

“Being an outsider is sometimes a great advantage and sometimes a disadvantage,” Lee said. “Sometimes you gain more than you lose from that perspective. It gives me a chance to look at things from another angle. The reality is, great stories resonate in the heart and gut of the audience, and that’s true anywhere in the world.

“I was brought up on American shows as much as I was on British shows,” Lee said. “My job isn’t to sit here as a Brit, commissioning American shows. My job is to see whether these shows move me, whether they move me to laughter or tears. If they do, and they do it in an authentic way, then we have a chance to resonate in the U.S. and beyond.”

Don’t call it diversity, call it real life.