Tuesday was now former editor-at-large for CNBC John Harwood’s first day at CNN as a network White House correspondent. Less than a week after CNN complained that one of its reporters was called a “liberal hack,” CNN hired a liberal hack.
some personal news: this is my first day at @CNN as White House Correspondent. honored and proud to join a team of journalists I’ve admired for so long
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) January 21, 2020
Harwood is a textbook example of a biased reporter masquerading around the nation’s capital as an “objective journalist,” on a noble quest to uncover the truth in clear and honest reporting in a media environment saturated with fake news.
There is certainly no shortage of examples to illustrate Harwood’s left-wing bias, but then again, the list to showcase CNN’s runs even longer, making the pair a perfect fit.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 22, 2020
Of course, true to form and well within CNN’s brand, Harwood thinks the media has actually been too fair to the Republican Party.
In December, Harwood responded to a tweet by CNN’s chief arbiter of objective journalism Brian Stelter, who lauded a column declaring that media objectivity gave the Republican Party the power it has today.
“Good description of the challenge for journalism. Hard for reporters to say plainly that the Republican Party, at this point in our history, is fundamentally broken, but it is,” Harwood wrote on Twitter.
good description of the challenge for journalism
hard for reporters to say plainly that the Republican Party, at this point in our history, is fundamentally broken
but it is https://t.co/HXHn3cmJ4N
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) December 22, 2019
One could dissect this theory however, using Harwood’s own work at CNBC.
In 2015, Harwood enjoyed the privilege of moderating one of the Republican presidential primary debates.
His bias was full-on-display in what was arguably the least-substantive debate of the entire cycle. Harwood’s first question of the night was directed at candidate Donald Trump, asking the businessman if he was running a “comic-book campaign.”
Here’s what Harwood said, emphasis mine:
Mr. Trump, you’ve done very well in this campaign so far by promising to build a wall and make another country pay for it, send 11 million people out of the country, cut taxes ten trillion dollars without increasing the deficit, and make Americans better off because your greatness would replace the incompetence and stupidity of others. Let’s be honest, is this a comic-book version of a presidential campaign?
“No, it’s not a comic book and it’s not a very nicely asked question the way you say that,” Trump said.
No kidding, and it’s a wonder to journalists why Trump entered the White House with such animosity towards the press.
Throughout the night, Harwood’s bias was painfully obvious. He repeatedly interrupted now former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and got into a tense exchange with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by aggressively attempting to fact-check the Republican senator using wrong statistics.
During the primetime event, Harwood tried to cite a study from the conservative Tax Foundation to paint Rubio’s tax plan as a giveaway to the one percent, peddling a typical progressive talking point used to brand Republicans as purveyors of the wealthy.
Despite Rubio correcting Harwood that lower-income individuals would benefit more than the rich, Harwood interjected again and refused to concede that he was incorrectly citing the Tax Foundation’s research.
The head of the Tax Foundation even corrected Harwood in real-time during the debate on Twitter.
— Scott Hodge (@scottahodge) October 29, 2015
“Rubio was right about his plan. Poor get larger tax benefit than the rich,” wrote Scott Hodge, the president of the foundation that conducted the study Harwood attempted to smear Rubio with.
To pour salt on the wound, Harwood refused to admit the error days after the debate. Just weeks before the debate however, Harwood once issued a correction of an earlier tweet on the study from the Tax Foundation, proving that the CNBC reporter was once well-aware of the foundation study’s true conclusions.
CORRECTING earlier tweet: Tax Foundation says Rubio benefits lowest 10% proportionally more (55.9) than top 1% (27.9%). Avg for all: 17.8%.
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 14, 2015
Another ripe example in Harwood’s past shows how Harwood should fit right in at CNN working alongside the network’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta who shares a fellow disdain for the president. In 2018, Harwood criticized Trump’s characterization of the international gang MS-13 as “animals,” and responded to a conservative columnist’s tweet who claimed misleading reporting on the topic was “disturbing.”
“However repugnant their actions, MS-13 gang members are human beings IMHO,” Harwood tweeted.
however repugnant their actions, MS-13 gang members are human beings IMHO
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) May 17, 2018
Harwood of course, did everything to support Hillary Clinton in 2016 without explicitly saying it publicly.
In September 2015, Harwood sought the advice of Clinton advisor John Podesta on what to ask former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in an interview.
Earlier that year, Harwood revealed himself to be a chief defender of Clinton’s as the former secretary of state was embroiled in scandal over the use of a private email server to handle classified information while working at the state department.
“PERSPECTIVE: Petraeus gave info he knew classified to someone he knew unauthorized to see it. No allegation yet HRC did anything like that,” Harwood wrote on Twitter.
PERSPECTIVE: Petraeus gave info he knew classified to someone he knew unauthorized to see it. No allegation yet HRC did anything like that.
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) August 17, 2015
Petraeus’ mistress’ however, had security clearances unlike Clinton’s attorney or the Denver IT firm involved in handling Clinton’s emails. In addition, Petraeus didn’t put sensitive information on the internet as Clinton did. That’s a more accurate perspective.
One could probably fill a book on Harwood’s bias against conservatives in loyal defense of Democrats. One might say he’s a “liberal hack.” One might even be President Donald Trump at their first press conference together.