CNN's chief political correspondent Dana Bash offered praise to "iconic" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for the photo that President Trump shared showing their tense interactions at a White House meeting.
Pelosi, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., walked out of the meeting on Wednesday with Trump and other lawmakers from both parties after mounting rhetoric from the speaker and the president hit a boiling point.
Trump shared the White House photo, accusing Pelosi, whom he called "Nervous Nancy," of having an "unhinged meltdown" as she was seen standing up across the table from the president.
Pelosi, in return, used that image as her Twitter cover photo.
On Thursday, Bash suggested Pelosi had the upper hand.
"Can we do just one more beat on that photo?" Bash asked as the image was onscreen. "Until now, what her staff owned, and what has made her kind of iconic among the Democratic base and even beyond that, is that picture walking out of the White House and putting her sunglasses on. I mean, this makes that look like, you know, not even at all symbolic."
"I mean, look at that photo of one woman standing up and, you know, giving it to the president of the United States at a table of all men there. I mean, of course she's going to own that."
CNN has touted its programming as being straight, just-the-facts news, but the network's many critics have said anyone tuning in to the anti-Trump network could expect a heavy dose of liberal opinion, from Bash and other on-air personalities including primetime anchors Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon.
"Anderson Cooper is a mix of news and opinion, but Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo are obviously heavy on opinion and use the news as a launching pad for those opinions," Cornell University Law Professor William Jacobson told Fox News. "There's nothing inherently wrong with that, so long as they are not mischaracterized as part of the news operation."
DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News that CNN’s primetime shows "are not straightforward news shows in the traditional sense of objective journalism," pointing out that the hosts often have presented their opinions very bluntly.
"News consumers are increasingly suspicious of programs that blend news and opinion, and a news organization's failure to properly label contributes to the national decline in credibility from the public," McCall said.
CNN has characterized all three of the primetime programs as “news” shows, according to the section of its website that labeled other shows in an "interview and debate" category.
Fox News' Brian Flood contributed to this report.