CNN anchor Jim Sciutto announced his upcoming book, “The Madman Theory: Trump Takes On the World,” will hit stores later this year — but a prominent critic feels CNN needs to ditch his “anchor” title if he’s going to author a Trump-bashing tome.
Amazon bills Sciutto’s book as “the definitive take on Trump’s calamitous legacy around the globe, showing how his proclivity for chaos is creating a world which is more unstable, violent, and impoverished than it was before.”
DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall feels a “major reason that media credibility has declined over the last decade is that news consumers are uncomfortable with the blending of news with commentary” that is prevalent at CNN. Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo also have the “anchor” title despite regularly offering their opinions.
"CNN should just make Sciutto a full-time commentator and remove this professional confusion."
“CNN is apparently comfortable with that approach, and Sciutto is not the only example,” McCall told Fox News.
CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta was allowed to pen an anti-Trump book, when the 2019 “The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America" raised eyebrows across the media industry. At the time, a current CNN employee questioned the network’s decision to have Acosta remain in the White House while promoting his anti-Trump book.
“Acosta is supposed to be a correspondent reporting the facts but you can’t tell the difference between him and a paid pundit,” the CNN staffer said.
Now Sciutto, who CNN labels as both “co-anchor” of CNN Newsroom and the network’s chief national security correspondent, has an upcoming book that doesn’t appear to be favorable of the president. News anchors write nonfiction books on a regular basis, but typically stay away from offering opinions on the topics they cover.
"’News anchors’ and ‘correspondents’ are supposed to be more neutral disseminators of content."
“Sciutto shows how Trump's supporters assume he has a strategy for long-term success – that he is somehow playing three-dimensional chess. Now that we are four years into his presidency, we can see his unpredictable focus on short-term headlines has in fact lead to predictably mediocre results in the short and long run,” Amazon’s description of Sciutto’s book states.
“Trump’s foreign policy has undermined American values and national security interests, while hurting allies who have been on our side for decades, leaving them isolated and vulnerable without American support,” the description continues. “Meanwhile, he comforts and emboldens our enemies.”
McCall feels there is nothing wrong with commentators writing books that take sides politically, but isn’t sure if Sciutto has the right gig at CNN if he want to partake in a Trump-bashing book while covering Trump as an anchor.
"’News anchors’ and ‘correspondents’ are supposed to be more neutral disseminators of content. CNN should just make Sciutto a full-time commentator and remove this professional confusion,” McCall said. “Then he can do all the books he wants and push whatever agendas he wants on air. CNN can surely find a different person to be the national security correspondent and then fence that person off from doing commentary.”