Why is CNN paying John Kasich to seemingly trial-balloon a 2020 run?

Media critics knocked CNN for signing Kasich knowing he may still run for president, saying the network is effectively giving him a paid platform to build momentum for a future campaign.

“I do believe CNN runs an ethical risk paying a potential candidate,” Steven Roberts, a professor of media ethics at George Washington University, told The Daily Beast. “The mixture of journalists/pundits/consultants/political operatives on CNN and other platforms is already confusing enough to viewers. Adding potential candidates as paid contributors crosses a line into chaos.”

Last week, the media news site Contemptor (whose founder often writes for The Daily Beast) asked whether Kasich’s CNN job could be considered “an in-kind donation on FEC reports.”