Although her comments largely flew under the radar, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota recently revealed strong biases against two major subjects of political news coverage. That would be fine if she weren’t one of the most prominent anchors on a major cable news network purportedly dedicated to distinguishing between apples and bananas.
Camerota spoke last week with The Hollywood Reporter about an upcoming documentary on Roger Ailes. Before joining CNN, Camerota spent years working at Fox News, where she (and many other women) says Ailes sexually harassed her. “Roger casts a long shadow,” Camerota told THR. “I hear it in Donald Trump, I heard it in Brett Kavanaugh.”
Camerota recalled Kavanaugh’s testimony about drinking beer in high school. “I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh. I know that. I know that slogan. I know that syncopation of a sentence; that something is so easy,'” said the “New Day” host. “After a while, you can channel Roger. It’s just, boil it down to its most simplistic, gut-level satisfaction.”
That makes her stance toward Trump and Kavanaugh pretty clear. As an opinion, it’s perfectly fair. The problem is that Camerota is not an opinion journalist, and her job requires extensive coverage of Trump and Kavanaugh. On CNN’s website, Camerota is classified as an “anchor” and “co-host” of “New Day.” The site’s description of “New Day” reads, “Alisyn Camerota and John Berman report the latest news and top stories.” (Emphasis added.)
Again, it’s absolutely fine for people with biases to cover Trump and Kavanaugh so long as they aren’t misleading audiences about their objectivity. It’s just not the role of news anchors and reporters to traffic in punditry. I’ve always liked Camerota and find her accusations toward Ailes credible, but she clearly can’t cover Trump or Kavanaugh objectively going forward given that she seems to have determined their guilt.
CNN’s internal lapses continue to make the network’s sanctimony about journalistic standards even harder to stomach.