In an interview with the Financial Times, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet called out Fox News and CNN for pandering to a particular audience in their coverage of Donald Trump, saying that they were “bad for democracy and those institutions” in the long run.
Baquet criticized CNN for hiring former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, describing him as a “political shill.”
He was far more harsh on Fox News of which he said, “at its heart is not a journalistic institution.” He said that while Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace were great journalists, the network “is some weird mix of a little bit of journalism, a little bit of entertainment, a little bit of pandering to a particular audience.”
Baquet told the Financial Times that Trump’s campaign had forced his paper to re-evaluate its approach to political coverage. “We are used to warring philosophies, but this is different. This is a guy who makes stuff up. I am not opposed to his presidency, that is not my job. But my job is not to beat around the bush when a candidate lies.”
That same scrutiny hasn’t always applied to Hillary Clinton, whose lies are being exposed daily by WikiLeaks.
CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker has defended its hiring of Lewandowski by saying that the network lacked someone to speak up for Trump during political discussions, and that they didn’t have anyone when the campaign began. He added that no one complains about Democratic political contributors with ties to Clinton.
As for Baquet’s criticism of Fox News, he showed his bias by only praising those who have been particularly tough on Trump, while ignoring other journalists who have covered the campaign in a more even-handed manner.