New York Times reinforces policy prohibiting reporters from appearing on cable shows like Maddow

New York Times reinforces policy prohibiting reporters from appearing on cable shows like Maddow
© Getty Images

The New York Times has begun re-enforcing a standing policy that forbids reporters and editors from appearing on cable news opinion programs deemed too partisan, a list that includes MSNBC's "Rachel MaddowRachel Anne Maddow2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown Hannity mocks NBC for making Maddow a debate moderator NBC announces five moderators for the first Democratic debate MORE Show," according to a Vanity Fair report.

The story includes an anecdote about the Times's finance editor David Enrich being invited to appear on Maddow's prime-time program earlier this month to discuss a report regarding President Trump, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck Dershowitz: With 'Mideast Marshall plan,' Abbas can help — or hurt — Palestinians Palestinian leaders reject Kushner's economic plan for region MORE and allegedly suspect transactions involving Deutsche Bank before Trump took office.

After Enrich agreed to appear he was instructed to back out by his superiors.
ADVERTISEMENT

"The Times was wary of how viewers might perceive a down-the-middle journalist like Enrich talking politics with a mega-ideological host like Maddow," reads the report by Joe Pompeo, who went on say that a Maddow producer was "miffed about the cancellation," according to sources.

Other programs deemed too opinionated and partisan for the Times's reporters and editors to appear on included "CNN Tonight" with Don LemonDon Carlton LemonBiden called Booker to ease tensions after remarks about working with segregationists: report Ocasio-Cortez: Booker doesn't owe Biden apology over remark about segregationists Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' MORE and MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'DonnellLawrence Francis O'DonnellMoulton says new Trump rape accusation furthers need for impeachment proceedings CNN's Don Lemon: 'Extremely shortsighted' if NY Times barring reporters from my show New York Times reinforces policy prohibiting reporters from appearing on cable shows like Maddow MORE." 
 
It said Fox's "Hannity" and "Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonHannity promises Trump would 'bomb the hell out of' Iran following downing of US drone Tucker Carlson: GOP tax law 'far better deal for corporate America' than middle class Glenn Greenwald defends 'contemptuous cretin' Crowder: 'YouTube caved in defense of the powerful' MORE Tonight" would also fall into that category, though Pompeo wrote that Times reporters might not appear on those more conservative programs commonly.

An MSNBC spokesperson told Vanity Fair that Maddow's "commitment to journalism is part of the DNA of the show."

“For over a decade, The Rachel Maddow Show has welcomed the best journalists from across the country and celebrated the hard work they do, day-in and day-out. This includes countless New York Times reporters and editors. That commitment to journalism is part of the DNA of the show."

According to the Times's handbook of values and practices for the news and editorial departments, staff members should avoid shows that "emphasize punditry and reckless opinion-mongering." 

Staff members "may participate in radio, television or Internet interviews or discussions, paid or unpaid, that deal with articles they have written or subjects that figure in the coverage they provide, edit, package or supervise," the public document reads.  

"In deciding whether to make a radio, television or Internet appearance, a staff member should consider its probable tone and content to make sure they are consistent with Times standards," it adds. "Staff members should avoid strident, theatrical forums that emphasize punditry and reckless opinion-mongering." 

The report comes as journalism in the U.S. "has gradually shifted away from objective news and offers more opinion-based content that appeals to emotion and relies heavily on argumentation and advocacy," according to an extensive Rand Corp. analysis released last week. 

“Our research provides quantitative evidence for what we all can see in the media landscape: Journalism in the U.S. has become more subjective and consists less of the detailed event- or context-based reporting that used to characterize news coverage,” said Jennifer Kavanagh, the lead author of the report.
 
Kavanagh also serves as a senior political scientist at Rand Corp. 

The Hill has reached out to The New York Times for comment.