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Columnist: “Hillary email dump shows CNN needs to ‘rethink’ relationship with Paul Begala”

Following the latest Hillary Clinton email dump, Mediaite columnist Joe Concha has some advice for CNN: rethink your relationship with Democratic political commentator Paul Begala.

Mr. Begala [asked] for talking points before he went on CNN to rate Mrs. Clinton’s early performance. Ms. Marshall referred him to several State Department aides. After his appearance, Mr. Begala emailed back: “I gave Sec. Clinton an A+ in our dopey CNN report card last night.” Ms. Mills forwarded that to Mrs. Clinton with an “FYI.”

Yes, that’s right… He just called a CNN segment “dopey.” Surely, the CNN producers gave to love him for that one.

Concha makes a checklist:

Serious conflict of Interest? Check.

Makes the audience seriously question his credibility? Check.

Characterized a CNN segment that was supposed to be somewhat serious “dopey” – which producers there must have loved to hear? Check.

That said, I do think one thing must be pointed out, contrary to Concha’s point: he’s no independent analyst or anything. He’s a Democratic strategist, and is labeled as such. Any comment he makes should be taken with a grain of salt (same thing for Anna Navarro, a Republican strategist and an open Jeb Bush surrogate). So, in my eyes, ‘conflict of interest’ and ‘his credibility’ on the checklist are unnecessary–because, those parts should be obvious.

The ‘dopey’ part of the checklist, however, remains a fair criticism.

Concha ended it with: “CNN needs to have a long conversation with Begala and ask him if he’s done this kind of thing again and if so…how often. And regardless of answer — because denial is likely the route almost anyone would take with so much to lose — needs to really consider what to do with him next.”


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