We Just Found out Why so Many Political Pundits Seem to Love Hillary Clinton

February 26, 2016   |   Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish
February 26, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) United States — So-called political pundits are an ubiquitous sight on mainstream news, particularly during the run-up to a presidential campaign — but their ties to the candidates they analyze remain obfuscated, downplayed, or altogether left out by host networks.

As The Intercept’s Lee Fang reported“Several consultants who work at firms retained by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and her affiliated Super PACs appear regularly on the major television networks, frequently touting Clinton.”

This cozy bedfellow relationship might not be an issue if the extent of their involvement with the candidates’ campaigns were forthrightly revealed by the networks. Instead, the failure by omission not only muddies the line between impartial analysis and campaign propaganda, it also marks a failure of journalistic integrity.

“Journalism 101 teaches that reporters and TV news hosts must properly identify their sources and analysts,” Ithaca College associate professor of journalism, Jeff Cohen, told Fang. The Intercept’s requests for comment from NBC, CBS, CNN, and ABC News were not answered.

Precision Strategies, co-founded by Stephanie Cutter, has been hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which has paid the firm $120,049 since June 2015 to perform “digital consulting.” Cutter, meanwhile, made appearances on multiple networks without so much as a hint of her current association with Clinton’s campaign. Instead, she is often introduced as a former campaign official for President Obama. Such association with a campaign doesn’t exactly lend itself to unbiased opinion.

“I think that Hillary Clinton has done everything right,” Cutter told NBC’s Meet the Press prior to the first presidential primaries on January 17. “She has run a good campaign. She has outperformed in debates. She’s raised money. She’s got a great ground game.”

It stands to reason the viewing audience had no knowledge of Cutter’s firm’s affiliation with Clinton’s campaign — and her virtual unavoidable bias in such a proclamation. But had they been aware, perhaps viewers would have been better positioned to judge for themselves whether or not that statement rang true.

As Fang noted, Cutter had previously appeared on Meet the Press, also without any indication by hosts of her association with the Clinton campaign — but also proffering similarly pro-Hillary statements. On ABC News’ This Week, Cutter appeared as a Clinton “supporter,” and on CNN, she was called a “Democratic strategist” — but those networks failed to divulge the direct involvement of Precision Strategies with Clinton’s campaign.

Maria Cardona, who contributes to CNN, has long served as a partner with lobbying firm, the Dewey Square Group. Dewey Square partners have not only contributed and fundraised for the Clinton campaign, the firm has been paid for consulting work for Hillary’s Super PACs. Cardona, Fang noted, contributed the individual maximum to the Clinton campaign — and is a DNC superdelegate who “pledged support for Clinton last year, before any of the primary elections.”

Again, Cardona is most often introduced or presents herself on CNN’s various networks as “a neutral Democratic strategist or CNN contributor,” and occasionally as a Clinton “supporter” — but not once, The Intercept found, as a direct campaign contributor or as a Dewey Square paid campaign consultant.

Hari Sevugan and Lynda Tran are directly involved, through 270 Strategies, with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, as well. Tran co-founded 270 Strategies, whose website proudly boasts of its consulting advice to her campaign; and, as Fang explained, the firm was paid $75,200 by one of Hillary’s Super PACs — and $301,621 by a second. Sevugan and Tran make regular appearances on MSNBC and CBS News — without any divulgement about the nature of their affiliation with the Hillary camp, of course — where they often downplay Senator Bernie Sanders legitimate challenges to Clinton’s popularity.

Do you still think the game isn’t rigged?

After Fang’s requests for comment from both CBS and 270 Strategies went unanswered, Tran’s appearance on CBS News on Saturday came with an even more telling introduction than usual:

“Before we start, we should disclose that several employees of 270 Strategies do some work for the Hillary Clinton campaign, however, Lynda, you do not.”

This article (We Just Found out Why so Many Political Pundits Seem to Love Hillary Clinton) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: The Intercept. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include thwarting war propaganda through education, the refugee crisis & related issues, 1st Amendment concerns, ending police brutality, and general government & corporate accountability. Born in North Carolina, she now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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  1. I don't believe that being paid huge gobs of money has an influence on these people's opinions. Come on, folks, these are professionals, and (just like Hillary herself), having their pockets lined by outside parties does not stop them from caring about what is best for the public rather than their contributors. Bernie, on the other hand, there is something fishy about that guy! Clearly he is in this whole thing for himself.

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  2. Sorry to say, but Hillary already showed that she is part of the top 1% who keep us in poverty, misery, wars, etc .
    She's just saying whatever people want to hear, only when it's convenience.

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  3. and yet we will continue to obediently tune in to these news shows and listen to these pundits and repeat their statments as if it was anything more than a reality show and we were waiting for the next scene of scripted live drama to ooh and ahh at while tweeting our vote for who leaves the island of Manhattan.

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  4. The person who wrote this article seems surprised by this deception concerning Hillary and the media. Many of us are not surprised at all. It's the way just has conducted her and her husband's political affairs for decades. Many of her supporters will just shrug this off as a right wing attack, drink some more kool aid and continue to back her in her quest for the throne.

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  5. Nope! Tune in to OANN…. One American News Network… no politicking, no commecials, American family owned, no corporate BS.

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  6. They love her because they are all criminals who have pillaged this country.

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  7. Senator Bernie Sanders is the only viable candidate. He is of and for the People. Senator Bernie is the only candidate in either party who is not in the pockets of the billionaire/corporate puppet masters. This election is not about lib. vs conserv. or democrat vs repub. it is about getting our country back for the people. Right wing, left wing……All the same bird…….ie TPP

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  8. Thanks for the humor. A good belly laugh in the morning is good for the soul.

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  10. That's exactly what happens when you go nuts on your toothpaste or better said on your daily dose of fluoride and how that affects your brain long term. Stop the madness!

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  11. Pundit in Sanskrit = enlightened one(s). None of these individuals should be referred to as such.

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