‘Trump TV pipeline’ is a joke, next to Obama’s media hires

 ‘Trump TV pipeline’ is a joke, next to Obama’s media hires
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As you may have heard, President Trump has tapped CNBC's Larry Kudlow to be his next senior economic adviser. The news has been met with mockery in some media circles with usual piousness toward the president for hiring too many people from the media industry to join his administration.

"Trump TV is a pipeline for Trump hires," said MSNBC's Chris Hayes on his primetime program, "All In."

Hayes also added in a tweet: "Trump's dream cabinet would be *entirely* filled with cable hosts and pundits."

The New York Times' chief television critic James Poniewozik also weighed in.

"I guess I owe President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE an apology for all the remarks I made about how much time he spent watching cable TV, when in fact he was vetting future top advisers," he tweeted.

Vox's Ezra Klein also wrote a piece on Wednesday ridiculing Trump with the sub-headline, "In Kudlow, the cable news president has found a cable news economist," while The Washington Post proclaimed in another analysis, "Kudlow the cable pundit already taking Trumpian approach to new job."

There are more than a dozen examples from a media appalled by a president tapping members of the media to serve in important posts in his administration.


Is there precedent for such decision-making in the Oval Office? Of course. But thanks to the bias of omission, the reader or viewer would never know that the prior administration puts this one to shame for the revolving door from media to the White House and State Department.

In the first four years alone in the Obama administration, more than 25 former reporters joined the team by my count. Yup. 25.

Per the Washington Post in 2013, Richard Stengel, Time magazine’s managing editor was the “latest in long line of reporters who jumped to jobs in Obama administration."

Here's more from that 2013 story, where just one paragraph alone shows how far and wide media members got into the tentacles of the Obama State Department.

You'll also recognize more than a few names, including former journalist Samantha PowerSamantha PowerUSAID 'redirects' El Salvador funds from government to civil society How effective are USAID programs? USAID chief Samantha Power: Getting shots 'into arms' can restore US global leadership MORE, who became U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"At State, Stengel can swap newsroom stories with Samantha Power, a former journalist (U.S. News, the Boston Globe, the New Republic) who is now the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. His staff will include Desson Thomson, a former Washington Post movie critic who became a speechwriter for Hillary Rodham Clinton when she served as secretary of state. Other colleagues will include two recent additions to Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s staff: Glen Johnson, a longtime political reporter and editor at the Boston Globe, and Douglas Frantz, a reporter and editor who has worked for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and, most recently, The Post. Frantz was also briefly an investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Kerry, then a senator from Massachusetts," it reads.

Jay Carney, a White House press secretary for four years following Robert Gibbs, also came by way of Time magazine.

Sasha Johnson, who was a CNN senior political producer, went on to be the Department of Transportation's spokeswoman in 2009 before becoming chief of staff for the FAA.

Former CBS and ABC reporter Linda Douglass quit broadcasting to join the Obama 2008 campaign. She was eventually rewarded with a communications director position for the Office of Health Reform.

Kelly Zito of San Francisco Chronicle left the paper to work for the EPA's public affairs office in 2011.

Eric Dash of the New York Times joined the public affairs officer at Treasury in 2012.

You get the idea.

Back to the future in 2018, MSNBC's Hayes singled out Heather Nauert on Wednesday night, a former Fox News anchor and host, for being promoted at the State Department from her spokesperson position following the firing of Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHouse passes legislation to elevate cybersecurity at the State Department Biden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet With salami-slicing and swarming tactics, China's aggression continues MORE.

"Despite having zero prior experience in diplomacy, Trump just installed Nauert as the acting undersecretary of State for public diplomacy,” Hayes said.

"In just 11 months — less than a year — Heather Nauert has gone from 'Fox & Friends' to No. 4 at the State Department," he added.

Hayes didn't voice the same concern in 2013 on his program when the aforementioned Stengel of Time was appointed to the same exact position.

"Obama nominated Stengel last week to be the State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, a top communications post," the Post reported at the time.

So this isn't just what selective outrage looks like, it's what it smells like.

In Kudlow's case, you would never know by most of the reporting on being named Trump's senior economic adviser that he served in the Reagan White House as a budget official. Or that he was a chief economist for Bear Stearns for seven years.

You've likely just heard about him being some guy on TV talking about the economy and money that Trump liked watching. Oh, and that he had a cocaine problem 23 years ago.

There are two kinds of bias in media today: Bias in broad daylight that's easy to spot. And the bias of omission.

Chalk up the way the precedent around the Obama administration outpacing the current one in hiring media people being buried as being a textbook example of the latter. 

Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) is a media reporter for The Hill.