The Political Press Vows to Be Hot Garbage in 2020

The political press has never done any kind of meaningful reflecting on their magnificent failures during the 2016 election. That's not to say they didn't learn any lessons, though. They just learned the wrong ones. Like: Being wildly irresponsible makes us lots of money.

And so they are fixing to replicate, and double down on, the failures that cost us so much during the last presidential election.

To wit, Maxwell Tani at the Daily Beast: CNN Defends Hiring Former GOP Operative Sarah Isgur as Political Editor.
CNN is standing by its decision to hire a former Department of Justice spokesperson and political operative with no journalistic experience to help lead its 2020 political coverage.

On Tuesday, Politico first reported that Sarah Isgur was joining the network as a politics editor, sparking fierce backlash from many who said she was unqualified and not suited for the job.

In a note to the network's politics team Wednesday, several top politics editors said that although they were upset that the news leaked out before it could be announced internally, the company was "thrilled" that Isgur was joining next month, saying she "brings a wealth of government, political, communications, and legal experience to our team."

The note, signed by Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist, Newsgathering Vice President Virginia Mosley, and Political Director David Chalian, clarified Isgur's new role, saying she would spend the first few months "getting to know our systems and our people," and eventually would "play a coordinating role in our daily political coverage — helping to organize and communicate between newsgathering, digital, and television."

"With more than two dozen candidates to cover, constant coordination is needed more than ever," it said.
Never mind that "Can Isgur even effectively coordinate?!" wasn't at the center of anyone's criticisms. Who gives a single fuck if she can coordinate like the wind. The problem is that she is a former Republican political operative with zero evident qualifications for the position.

Democrats are already at a disadvantage, media-wise, and not just because the political press skews heavily white, male, and conservative: They're running against an incumbent president, who will exclusively suck up all the attention for the Republican field, while multiple Democrats divide press attention on the opposing side.

(And the bigger that Democratic field gets, the tinier sliver of attention each candidate will be obliged to fight for.)

That CNN is now appointing a Republican operative to coordinate coverage of an election that mightily favors the Republican candidate is a big problem for Democrats. And anyone else who values trying to protect the shredded vestiges of our democracy.

CNN learned entirely the wrong lesson from 2016. And Donald Trump's takeaway is that the more he bullies and attacks news outlets, the more willing they will be to pander to him and his party. Terrific.

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