CNN show hosts Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett and Piers Morgan are shown at the party launching her show “Erin Burnett Outfront,” Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011 in New York. Burnett’s show will air weeknights at 7p.m. EST and 11p.m. EST on CNN. (AP Photo/Starpix, Amanda Schwab)
Yesterday, CNN was in full-throated primal scream status over President Trump’s joint press conference with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. My personal view is that Trump did himself no favors in that performance and might have even done substantial harm, but that is no reason to go utterly batsh** crazy.
Former NSC spokesman Michael Anton was scheduled to be a guest on Erin Burnett’s “Outfront” show on CNN. Anton, you’ll recall, was an early Trump supporter and the author of the “Flight 93 Election” idea that ultimately convinced millions of Americans–or at least set to prose the feelings of those Americans–who had no delusions about Donald Trump and no doubts that, compared to Hillary Clinton, Trump was the only logical choice. Before showtime, Burnett tweeted this:
Michael Anton, Former Trump NSC spox, cancelled his appearance on Outfront tonight because he couldn’t defend @realDonaldTrump today.
— Erin Burnett (@ErinBurnett) July 16, 2018
And it was picked up by her allies:
Wow. The former National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton canceled his long-scheduled appearance on @ErinBurnett tonight because he said he couldn’t defend what President Trump said today.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) July 16, 2018
And she repeated the claim on the air:
"Michael Anton was going to be here … he canceled, and he knows I'm going to tell you this, because he said he could not defend the president on his actions today." – Erin Burnett explains the absence of Trump's fmr. National Security Council spokesman https://t.co/VYnxxVD4Je pic.twitter.com/nveQk3mvTy
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) July 16, 2018
The tweet implies that Anton was refusing to appear on the show because he was so appalled by Trump’s press conference that he couldn’t defend it.
That doesn’t seem to be the truth:
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) July 17, 2018
Anton elected not to be part of a food fight and when he tried to beg out of an appearance he was given an ultimatum. One that Burnett eventually made good on.
CNN denies the story…sorta
We had Michael Anton, former Trump NSC spokesman, pre-booked and confirmed for a week. His rep then canceled him late afternoon today explaining that Mr. Anton could not defend the President on his press conference with Putin. No threats were ever made.
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) July 17, 2018
But if you use the twin tools of “cui bono” and “follow the money” it becomes very difficult to believe CNN’s denial. First off, Anton does not have a financial interest in slamming the people who are writing checks to him. It is against his interests to fabricate a story like the one he released. While she’s no Joe Scarborough or Wolf Blitzer or Jake Tapper, where their show doesn’t even register in some demographic segments, Burnett’s show is sucking swamp water. Burnett is the person who gains by manufacturing the controversy.
This simply demonstrates, once again, that CNN has forfeited any claim to be considered a news organization. It is a partisan organization with an anti-Trump agenda and it will do whatever it takes to carry out that role.
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