CNN to Add Bush Adviser Laura Ingraham?
The disturbing descent of CNN into schizophrenia added a new chapter this week. The network asked Laura Ingraham to temporarily fill in for the outgoing Paula Zahn. As you'll recall, the right-wing radio host's resume includes her 2006 Democratic phone jamming operation. And most recently, as Oliver Willis now informs us, Ingraham served as informal adviser to President Bush.
The addition of Ingraham is just the latest example of CNN's intermittent Fox envy. It comes just weeks after giving its Headline News xenophobic hate-monger Glenn Beck the reins for a week. And as AmericaBlog reported yesterday, it follows the sacking its Internet reporter Jacki Schechner, who handled the blogosphere beat.
But giving the hyper-partisan Ingraham a prime-time slot is the network's most egregious surrender to conservative sensibilities yet. On Election Day last November 7, Ingraham encouraged her listeners to jam a Democratic voter protection hotline by flooding it with calls:
"Tell me if you think I'm crazy. This is what I'm thinking. I think we all need to call 1 888 DEM VOTE all at the same time."
Ingraham's conservative hatchet job came even as the legal process surrounding the conviction of James Tobin in the Republicans' 2002 New Hampshire phone jamming scandal continued to work its way through the courts.
But Ingraham is much more than merely a plumber in a latter-day Committee to Reelect the President. As Oliver Willis relates, Ingraham joined Hugh Hewitt and a select group of the Republicans' amen corner to provide an echo chamber for President Bush during a White House meeting this week:
"President Bush invited ten talk hosts into the Oval Office for an hour of conversation today --Glenn Beck, Bill Bennett, Neal Boortz, Scott Hennon, Laura Ingraham, Lars Larson, Mark Levin, Michael Medved, Janet Parshall and me [Hugh Hewitt]. This was an off-the-record conversation, and so I won't be quoting the president."
While the conservative chattering classes thunder about the procession of Democratic presidential candidates to the Yearly Kos convention in Chicago, CNN's potential addition of another yet Bush cheerleader produces only yawns.
Talk about schizophrenic.