Eric Wemple at the Washington Post points out a good bit of detective work on the part of Politico which uncovered a plan to further bend the media dial in the direction of liberal political goals. He starts with a brief announcement which was highlighted by Mike Allen regarding a not terribly unusual staffing move at NBC News and MSNBC.
OBAMA ALUMNI: “Stephanie Cutter has joined NBC News and MSNBC as a Political Analyst. She will contribute exclusively on a range of topics across all platforms including Meet the Press, TODAY, Nightly and MSNBC.” She’ll be on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” at noon today.
Anyone who watches cable news on a regular basis is familiar with Stephanie Cutter. She makes the rounds on a seemingly daily basis, sharing her “political analysis” with the nation on any number of subjects. She’s also a veteran of the Obama political machine and the fact that she’s no longer directly on the payroll hasn’t changed the tune she sings. But the clever bit of the aforementioned detective job came in noticing that the NBC announcement came on the same day as another bit of breaking political news. The President himself dialed in to a conference call where he helped launch a new activist group which will fight for the confirmation of his latest Supreme Court nominee. It’s called the Constitutional Responsibility Project and you’ll see a familiar name there. (New York Times)
In a familiar follow-up, Stephanie Cutter, the president’s 2012 deputy campaign manager, came on the line after Mr. Obama to remind listeners to “press ‘1’ to sign up and get involved.”
Ms. Cutter, who also worked in the West Wing for Mr. Obama, will oversee the efforts by the new group, to be called the Constitutional Responsibility Project. Anita Dunn, the former White House communications director, is handling the news media, along with Amy Brundage, a veteran Obama aide.
Yep. One of the people NBC News and MSNBC were going to have on the payroll as an independent political analyst was angling for that job at the same time she was launching an initiative to flack for the President’s Supreme Court nomination. And the idea that she wouldn’t’ be asked to comment on that battle is preposterous, since she’s already being asked about it. It’s not as if it wasn’t already obvious that she was in the tank for one side of any political argument, but paying her to serve double duty in the fourth estate while directly running a fifth column effort on behalf of the DNC was apparently a bridge too far even for NBC News.
As Wemple reports, the network ended the deal before the virtual ink was even dry on the agreement. But that does leave us with yet another pressing question. Who will investigate all of the other paid spokesmodels on the various cable networks and see how many of them are similarly entwined in these direct conflicts of interest? Are there even enough hours in the day? And more to the point, will they even care? Remember that Ed Schultz was literally on the payroll of the labor unions for years while simultaneously hosting a political news analysis show for MSNBC where he covered labor union stories extensively. These incestuous relationships in the political media are likely too numerous to list all in one place, but at least this one was sniffed out before it took root.