CNN top executives allegedly orchestrated coverage to discredit or undermine the Donna Brazile memoir about the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. That is the contention of Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson based on information he obtained from “highly informed sources,” the host claimed on his Monday and Tuesday broadcasts.
Brazile, the longtime political strategist, took over as interim Democratic National Committee chair in July 2016 after Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to step down as the DNC convention was about to start after emails published by WikiLeaks suggested that party insiders were gaming the nomination for Clinton to the detriment of insurgent candidate Bernie Sanders.
In excerpts from her tell-all, Brazile implies that the party hierarchy rigged the primaries for Clinton. Brazile also claimed that the Team Clinton took control of the DNC, which was flat broke, a year before Hillary Clinton became the nominee through a secret agreement in exchange for transferring fundraising cash to the party organization. Brazile apparently discovered that money earmarked for state and local Democratic candidates allegedly never filtered down to those campaigns, however.
The DNC is supposed to remain neutral during the primary season, and a candidate normally doesn’t take charge of the entire party apparatus until he or she becomes the official nominee for the general election.
“If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead,” Brazile wrote.
She also writes that the Clinton campaign was overconfident, dysfunctional, and inspiring little enthusiasm among traditional Democrat constituency groups.
According to Tucker Carlson, CNN executives took exception to Brazile’s criticism of Team Clinton and wanted its coverage to reflect that. Carlson subsequently asserted that on a conference call with senior staffers, CNN President Jeff Zucker was “fuming and enraged.” Zucker supposedly accused Donna Brazile of lying “and suggested that CNN news shows should demonstrate that she is.”
In an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Intercept founding co-editor Glenn Greenwald of Edward Snowden fame, a progressive and no supporter of the Trump administration, decried the way “neutral” CNN and MSNBC journalists sought to discredit Donna Brazile.
“Hillary Clinton is the establishment figure in the Democratic Party, and if you identify with the Democratic Party…Hillary Clinton is going to be somebody you’re going to swear your fealty to. I personally don’t mind that these journalists adore Democratic Party establishment leaders…but what I think is really offensive are two things: Number one, when they pretend that they don’t have opinions, that they’re really neutral, and they conceal or therefor deceive what their true allegiances are, and secondly when they’re willing to endorse outright factual falsehoods in order to serve their hidden political agenda…”
The interview with Carlson was a follow-up to an Intercept article in which Greenwald identified three “lies” that liberal journalists published about the Brazile allegations, as various reporters claimed the secret agreement only applied to the general election, that Bernie Sanders signed the same agreement as Clinton did, and that Brazile could replace Clinton as the presidential nominee unilaterally.
CNN gave the following statement to Business Insider about Carlson’s initial accusations.
“Any suggestion that CNN has ordered its employees to undermine Donna Brazile is false.”
Brazile was also concerned about Hillary Clinton’s apparent poor health two days before she collapsed at the 9/11 ceremony in New York City, the Washington Free Beacon reported about another passage in the book.
Ironically perhaps, Brazile, a former CNN commentator, was accused of funneling debate questions to Hillary Clinton in advance on at least one occasion.
Brazile is also facing criticism for keeping all the information about the campaign under wraps until it was time to sell a book.
Separately, as a condition of the Time Warner-AT&T merger, CNBC is reporting that the U.S. Department of Justice wants CNN to be sold off. Responding to its anti-Trump coverage, President Trump has famously described CNN as “very fake news.”
CNN is also reportedly been ignoring the corruption trial of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, which is now in the hands of the jury, The Daily Caller noted.
“Meanwhile, CNN has only been able to dedicate 36 minutes of their 24/7 broadcast to the trial, even though they have had 62 days to cover it. More than two-fifths of the coverage–just short of fifteen minutes–was done by anchor Jake Tapper.”
Donna Brazile is scheduled to sit down with Tucker Carlson on his show this evening, so watch this space for updates.
Added: The Tucker Carlson-Donna Brazile interview is embedded below.
[Featured Image by Gerald Herbert/AP Images]