CNN lets Newt Gingrich fund politicians on his show and not tell viewers

September 29, 2013

CNN has allowed new “Crossfire” co-host Newt Gingrich to not disclose when politicians he funds appear on the show, seemingly in breech of its own rules.

The company had previously announced that Gingrich would have to announce when he hosts  politicians he had funded, but apparently CNN has decided to change its regulations to accommodate Gingrich.

CNN’s Executive Vice President for Standards and Practices, Rick Davis, had told Media Matters that “If Newt is helping fund a candidate and that candidate’s on the show, or being discussed on the show, of course he’ll disclose that. Disclosure is important when it’s relevant.”

However Davis has since retracted this comment, claiming that Gingrich is exempt because if he had “made a financial contribution to a politician who appears on the program or is the focus of the program, disclosure is not required during the show since the co-host’s political support is obvious by his or her point of view expressed on the program”.

The new attitude has drawn plenty of criticism, namely from the Huffington Post which argued that Gingrich could fund a political campaign, host its representative on national television, and not disclose the situation to viewers.

CNN’s action are clearly hypocritical, as it has clearly reneged on its initial rules. The argument that disclosure is not necessary if Newt agrees with a guest’s point of view is entirely nonsensical, as keeping correlating a host’s “point of view” with a guest’s would be subjective as well as something viewers should not have to determine on their own.

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