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

‘We are not being complacent’: Liberals don’t expect sudden surge of Salvadoran asylum-seekers

We shall see how well the regularization process works and consequent impact on the numbers of asylum seekers:

The Liberal government has a contingency plan for a potential flood of Salvadoran asylum seekers, but it is not expecting a sudden surge of people crossing the border from the United States.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the government has been “engaging intensely” with the El Salvador diaspora, among others, and believes they are deeply embedded in their American communities with children, jobs and mortgages and not likely to abruptly flee.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration announced Monday that 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants now allowed to live and work in the U.S. with temporary protected status will lose their right to remain in the country in September 2019.

Hussen said because there’s a lengthy 18-month time frame for people to leave or seek legal residency, he expects many will use the time to regularize their status.

“Their first choice is to remain in the U.S.,” Hussen told reporters on Parliament Hill after meeting with a joint intergovernmental task force on irregular migration.

“Having said that, we are not being complacent. We are making sure we are prepared for any eventuality, including a future influx of asylum seekers crossing our border irregularly and, in that regard, we are using the lessons that we learned in the summer to do so.”

Since August last year, the government has embarked on an outreach campaign to spread the word about Canadian laws and immigration system. MPs have been dispatched to meet with various community groups and stakeholders in Miami, New York, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles and used social media and online marketing tools to correct misinformation.

Humanitarian message

“Our message is not only a deterrent message but it’s also a humanitarian message, because we don’t want people uprooting their lives, their deep roots in the United States, based on misinformation,” he said.

Haitians began crossing in to Canada even before a final decision had been made on their temporary status, with more than 200 people a day in the summer months.

Hussen noted that irregular crossings have declined dramatically in the last four months, and said fluctuations in numbers are seen from year to year, and from month to month.

The U.S. granted protected status to people from El Salvador in the wake of two devastating 2001 earthquakes that left hundreds of thousands in the country homeless.

Source: ‘We are not being complacent’: Liberals don’t expect sudden surge of Salvadoran asylum-seekers

And a good overview by CNN of the 10 countries currently with TPS

TPS is ending for these countries

Sudan

Status:Ends November 2, 2018, DHS announced in September 2017. This means Sudanese under TPS will have to find a different way to stay in the US or prepare to leave.
When TPS was designated: November1997
Number of people with TPS: About 1,000
Cause: Sudan was designated for TPS based on the “ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions.” Sudan has been beset by conflicts, most notably the Darfur conflict, which began around 2003 when several rebel groups took up arms against the government in Khartoum. The situation in Sudan has improved in recent years, but concerns persist about its stability and human rights.
Why TPS was terminated: DHS’ then-Acting Secretary Elaine Duke had”determined that conditions in Sudan no longer support its designation for Temporary Protected Status.” The agency said nationals of Sudan could return “without posing a serious threat to their personal safety.”

Nicaragua

Status:Ends January 5, 2019, DHS announced in November 2017.
When TPS was designated: January 1999
Number of people with TPS: About 5,300
Cause:Hurricane Mitch, a Category 5 storm, devastated the country in October 1998. Mitch was particularly destructive in Nicaragua and Honduras, killing about 11,000 people in Central America.
Why TPS was terminated: “It is no longer the case that Nicaragua is unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return of nationals of Nicaragua,” according to DHS. The agency stated that conditions affected by Hurricane Mitch have stabilized and that many of the homes destroyed by the storm have been rebuilt.

Haiti

Status:Ends July 22, 2019, DHS announced in November 2017.
When TPS was designated: January 2010
Number of people with TPS: About 58,700
Cause: A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck in January 2010, and an estimated 220,000 to 300,000 people died. That year, DHS announced temporary refuge for Haitian nationals who were already in the US and “whose personal safety would be endangered by returning to Haiti.”
Why TPS was terminated: After seven years, the DHS stated that “extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.”

El Salvador

Status:Ends September 9, 2019, DHS announced in January 2018.
When TPS was designated: March 2001
Number of people with TPS: About 263,000
Cause: A 7.7-magnitude quake struck El Salvador in January 2001 and was the worst to hit the country in a decade. The devastation, along with two more damaging quakes the following month, spurred a decision allowing immigrants from El Salvador who’d been in the United States since mid-February 2001 to apply for TPS.
Why TPS was terminated: After nearly 17 years, the “original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist,” DHS said. It added that the US government has repatriated more than 39,000 Salvadorans in the last two years, “demonstrating that the temporary inability of El Salvador to adequately return their nationals after the earthquake has been addressed.”

Decisions pending in 2018

Syria

Status:Extended through March 31, 2018, DHS announced in August 2016.
When TPS was designated: March 2012
Number of people with TPS: About 6,200
Cause: Syria was designated for TPS because of the ongoing armed conflict. Since the civil war began in 2011, an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed, according to the United Nations. The Syrian conflict broke out in 2011 with the Arab Spring uprising and rebel groups’ attempts to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Why it was extended: An 18-month extension was given by the DHS in 2016,because “violent conflict and the deteriorating humanitarian crisis continue to pose significant risk throughout Syria.”

Nepal

Status:Extended through June 24, 2018, DHS announced in October 2016.
When TPS was designated: June 2015
Number of people with TPS: About 13,000
Cause: TPS has protected Nepalese living in the United States since a destructive, 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck near the country’s capital, Kathmandu. The April 2015 earthquake killed more than 8,000 people, and millions of homes cracked or collapsed.
Why it was extended: Conditions in Nepal have improved following the earthquake, DHS said in its 2016 decision to extend TPS for 18 more months. But the disaster resulted “in a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions,” the agency stated.

Honduras

Status:Extended through July 5, 2018, DHS announced in November 2017.
When TPS was designated: January 1999
Number of people with TPS: About 86,200
Cause:Hurricane Mitch, a Category 5 storm, devastated the country in October 1998. Mitch was particularly destructive in Nicaragua and Honduras, killing about 11,000 people in Central America.
Why it was extended: DHS postponed its decision, triggering an automatic six-month extension. Its then-acting secretary Elaine Duke had announced there was not enough information to make a formal decision.

Yemen

Status:Extended through September 3, 2018, DHS announced in January 2017.
When TPS was designated: September 2015
Number of people with TPS: About 800
Cause: A civil war broke out when Houthi rebels drove out the US-backed government, led by President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, and took over the capital, Sanaa. The crisis quickly escalated into a multi-sided war leading to airstrikes in 2015. At least 10,000 people have been killedin the war, according to the United Nations, with millions more displaced.
Why it was extended: DHS granted an 18-month extension in 2017, because of the ongoing armed conflict in Yemen. It cited “continued deterioration of the conditions for civilians in Yemen” and said returning Yemeni nationals to the country would “pose a serious threat to their personal safety.”

Somalia

Status:Extended through September 17, 2018, DHS announced in January 2017
When TPS was designated: September 1991
Number of people with TPS: About 500
Cause: Somalia was designated for TPS after the country descended into civil war after dictator Siad Barre’s ouster in 1991. Nearing three decades of conflict, much of the country’s governance structure, economic infrastructure, and institutions have been destroyed.
Why it was extended: “The security situation in Somalia remains fragile and volatile,” according to DHS. The agency said Somalis couldn’t safely return to the country. “Somalia continues to experience a complex protracted emergency that is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world,” it stated in 2017.

Decision pending in 2019

South Sudan

Status:Extended through May 2, 2019,DHS announced in September 2017.
When TPS was designated: November2011
Number of people with TPS: About 50
Cause: South Sudan had been designated for TPS based on “ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions.” The country gained independence from Sudan in 2011 but remains torn by conflict.
Why it was extended: The ongoing armed conflict and the conditions have “persisted, and in some cases, deteriorated, and would pose a serious threat to the personal safety of South Sudanese nationals if they were required to return to their country,” according to DHS.