Paris Dennard explained to Breitbart News how he was kept off television networks following his suspension by CNN in August, his former employer. He spoke with Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow on Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily.
Dennard was suspended days after appearing on a CNN segment in which he explained how security clearances are monetized by former government officials seeking employment with news media outlets and other outfits in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump praised Dennard’s commentary the next day via Twitter:
Just watched former Intelligence Official Phillip Mudd become totally unglued and weird while debating wonderful @PARISDENNARD over Brennan’s Security Clearance. Dennard destroyed him but Mudd is in no mental condition to have such a Clearance. Should be REVOKED? @seanhannity
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2018
Dennard said of his August segment, “After that episode, if you will, I wasn’t back on the network, and I guess if you’re going to go out, that’s the way you want to go out; totally destroying — in the president’s words, when he tweeted about it — Phil Mudd’s argument and the claims that he was making and having a solid, thoughtful, insightful, and calm approach to his points.”
Dennard added, “If that’s my finest hour, if that was threatening enough, then that’s a good way to go out on the network. So I’m proud, and I stand by everything I said in that exchange.”
Dennard spoke about his conversation with a Washington Post reporter who wrote an ostensible investigative report of allegations of sexual harassment made against him in 2014.
Dennard said, “I asked him ‘Why? What is the relevancy of this?’ and he linked it back to the president and my commentary in support of the president. And he said, ‘You had defended President Trump in the past. So why can’t we bring up things from your past?’ I said, ‘This is about the president?’ When I heard that, I knew then this was not about justice, this wasn’t about #MeToo, this wasn’t because somebody had come forward — none of that.”
Dennard went on:
It was because they were upset — “they” meaning the deep state, meaning those impacted by the CIA operative Phil Mudd, or my former employer, whoever it was — they didn’t like that exchange, didn’t like my voice, didn’t like the points that I made, and knew this was on the pulse of the midterm election coming up, that my objective commentary needed to be silenced, and they felt this was the best way to do it because of the climate that we’re in in this country.
Dennard continued, “They effectively went forth with this article, and it was very hard to deal with, calling my mother, talking to my girlfriend — who already knew about this situation — but it was just [hard], to see that in print. We’ve seen it before. We’ve seen other people go through it, but it’s a different story when it’s you, personally.”
CNN suspended Dennard hours after the Washington Post published its aforementioned report.
“I got a call immediately — that night,” recalled Dennard. “That evening, I got a call from CNN saying that I was suspended pending an investigation. A suspension meant I could not be booked on CNN by their bookers because I was a paid commentator. After that, I stayed off of social media to respect their investigative process, whatever that was. I don’t know what that was, and they did not put me back on the air.”
Dennard explained how CNN’s decision to suspend — not terminate — his contract meant he could not procure political commentary employment elsewhere.
“They did not fire me like they did Marc Lamont Hill,” remarked Dennard:
It wasn’t a pay-per-hit [contract with CNN]. It was sort of a retainer, if you will. I was still paid, no matter what, but they just decided to keep me off the air. Because I was under contract with CNN — which was exclusive — I could not appear on any other network. Effectively, what they did was kept me off CNN and also kept me off of any other network because I refused to resign because that’s not who I am.
Dennard added, “I was going to fight this, which I did fight that as hard as I could. It was a clear example to me that they had no intention of putting me back on the air. They wanted to get me off the air and keep me off the air throughout the midterms and through 2018, and that’s why I called it … a political hit job. It had nothing to do with anything but politics, and the Washington Post reporter told me that from day one: this was about the president.”
Dennard stated, “I have returned on Twitter because I wanted to be respectful of CNN’s quote-unquote investigation, and I’m back. I’m commenting. I’m doing radio, and if anybody wants to have my commentary, I’m available to do that, and I will fight back and continue to speak up and support this president, this administration, and the values I believe as a black conservative.”
Dennard said, “Because of CNN’s disparate treatment towards me compared to others who have done and said things — allegedly — my position is going to be different. The way I react is going to be different. I will fight back, and I won’t be silenced. I am going to continue.”
Dennard praised Breitbart News’s coverage of his fallout with CNN.
“If they thought — whoever they are who tried to silence me and others like me — if they thought that’s the last they got of Paris Dennard, think again,” cautioned Dennard. “I’m appreciative of outlets and people like you, Alex, and like Breitbart, and all of your readers and viewers and listeners who stand by the truth and know exactly what these things are. They’re political hit jobs, the politics of personal destruction.”
Dennard concluded, “We’re not going to stand for it. I’m going to move forward. We, collectively, are going to continue to fight against what we know to be people with hatred over conservatives who dare to speak out. I’m going to keep fighting.”
Both CNN and the Washington Post market themselves as politically objective and non-partisan news media outlets, branding themselves with the slogans, “Facts First” and “Democracy Dies In Darkness,” respectively.
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