CNN has chosen someone who really, really doesn’t like CNN but really, really does like Donald Trump to lead their 2020 election coverage.
Sarah Isgur, a spokeswoman and counsel for Trump’s Department of Justice and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions — and once campaign staff for former Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina — has been tapped to coordinate the network’s 2020 election coverage.
She got the job at the Department of Justice despite having criticized Trump in the primary. Trump, famous for his loyalty pledges, would only allow Sessions to hire Isgur if she met with him, said it would be an honor to serve him, and gave her support to his agenda.
This loyalty pledge does pose something of a conflict of interest beyond the obvious “a former member of an administration will coordinate coverage of an election that administration is involved in.” Because CNN is a favored target for President Trump, who once tweeted an image of him wrestling an anthropomorphized version of the news agency.
The Trump Administration even earned the ire of Fox News for suspending the press credentials of CNN’s Jim Acosta, using doctored footage to make it appear that Acosta attacked a woman during a confrontation with the president.
While it isn’t uncommon to hire political officials as contributors, Isgur will be in the newsroom, which is a rare move for someone with no journalism experience.– a rarer move for someone who seems to hate the news source they’ll be working for.
just saw 100 ft wave surfing clip on CNN…way more interesting that carney's surfing over "truth" and "accuracy"
— Sarah Isgur (@whignewtons) October 29, 2013
— Sarah Isgur (@whignewtons) August 28, 2015
Seriously? More balanced reporting today from CNN: chiron reads "anti-gay, anti-abortion group hosts value voters summit"
— Sarah Isgur (@whignewtons) October 11, 2013
She has also referred to CNN as “Clinton News Network.”
Of course, there are some of Isgur’s old tweets flagging CNN that have aged like fine wine given the national emergency declared last Friday.
CNN: Obama On Vacation Playing Golf During World Crises Is “Awkward,” “Not Terrific” Optics http://t.co/jAbDbJghXi
— Sarah Isgur (@whignewtons) August 12, 2014
The potential danger, though, of her kowtow to Trump impacting her performance in fairly and accurately reporting on the 2020 election cannot be understated.
It’s possible that Isgur is being brought on to combat the narrative of CNN’s increasingly liberal slant, but there are far more qualified conservatives who haven’t pledged loyalty to a 2020 candidate to choose from.
Here’s a list, if CNN is curious.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.