Caruso: CNN Uses Private Hiring Info from Years Ago to Attack Conservative Commentator Over Criticism of Network

AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis, Edit: BNN
AP/Kostas Tsironis, Edit: BNN

CNN hit a new low Thursday, with its “Communications and Digital Partnerships” vice president Matt Dornic disclosing private information about his company’s hiring process in order to demean a conservative reporter.

The Daily Caller’s Benny Johnson sent a tweet mocking CNN Wednesday, to which CNN’s Matt Dornic responds, “Hey . Don’t you think you should disclose that you wanted to work at CNN — and we almost hired you — until you were discovered to be a pathological plagiarist?”

Dornic’s tweet was ridiculous, mean-spirted nastiness.

Benny was indeed fired from Buzzfeed in 2014 for plagiarizing, although that seems like an odd thing for CNN to take the moral high ground on, considering the fact that they still employ Fareed Zakaria despite his multiple plagiarism scandals.

Johnson responded to the tweet, saying, “You’re right Matt. CNN did offer me a job 5 years ago. As I recall, Tucker Carlson used to work at CNN, too. We’re both certainly in better places now. Also, thanks for aggregating my Oval Office POTUS interview from yesterday. Means a lot.”

Obviously, Dornic’s criticism was totally below the belt and is sadly indicative of the state of their company. Using the fact that someone was once interested in a job at your company years ago to deflect criticism of it now is a ridiculous and unfair line of attack.

Also, there is no equivalence between Johnson’s criticisms of the network and the response from Dornic. Remember, Dornic’s job is to be CNN’s communications guy.

CNN isn’t a person. It’s an enormous corporation worth billions of dollars that has the power to affect the views of millions of people. Are we seriously not allowed to be critical of institutions as big as CNN?

Dornic’s attack on Benny Johnson is even stranger given the fact that the two appeared to have once been friends, with Dornic even referring to Johnson as his “bestie.”

Dornic was also friendly with Johnson after the Buzzfeed plagiarism incident that he is apparently oh-so-concerned about.

It’s not coincidental that this comes right after Benny Johnson conducted an exclusive interview with the President.

For corporate media like CNN, this is a nightmare. It shows that their hold on the media is crumbling, and that for all their D.C. schmoozing and credentialism and snark, other voices are getting attention and access.

It’s also no coincidence that immediately after, the network’s top communications guy uses private hiring information from years ago to demean a reporter because he criticized their coverage. Pure mean-spirited pettiness.

Full disclosure: I used to work with Benny Johnson at The Daily Caller.


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