Democrats

Ex-CNN chief calls for end to political surrogates as TV news contributors after Brazile fiasco

On 'The Kelly File,' Klein reacts to calls for an outside investigation into CNN

 

The former president of CNN Tuesday called for political surrogates to be removed from their positions as paid contributors for TV news channels in the wake of the Donna Brazile scandal. 

"I hope this can be the death knell for the surrogates that all the news networks employ because it’s predictable," Jon Klein told Fox News' Megyn Kelly on "The Kelly File." "As a viewer ... it's boring. We know what the Punch and Judy puppets are going to say every time."

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Brazile, the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, was revealed by Wikileaks to have shared a question about lead in the Flint, Mich. water system with the Hillary Clinton campaign ahead of a Democratic primary debate earlier this year. CNN announced Monday that it had cut ties with Brazile earlier this month.

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"They think that Donna ran into one of these questioners because she had spent the day handing out water in Flint," Klein said of CNN brass. 

"I’m sure under pressure [Brazile] felt she had something that could be helpful to the person or the cause that she is most loyal to," said Klein, who held the top job at CNN for six years, ending in 2010.

"By the way," Klein added, "[Brazile] leaked this to the Hillary camp during the primaries. We don’t know that she did not leak things to [Sen. Bernie] Sanders. [We know] only because Wikileaks has spoonfed us the Hillary stuff."

Klein added that CNN officials believe Roland Martin, a former CNN contributor, tipped off the Clinton campaign to another town hall question during the primaries. 

"I don’t think it’s surprising when you’ve got a partisan surrogate in your midst as a paid contributor," Klein said of the scandal. "I think at the end of the day, you know where people’s loyalties ultimately lie."