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April 04, 2017

Why Is CNN Permitting Jim Schiutto To Offer Partisan Arguments on Behalf of Obama Administration Officials, Without Disclosing He Has Personal Relationships With Some of Them?

I don't mind that Sciutto is reporting on this story. You get leaks from sources. If those leaks are criminal in nature, they're usually only offered to someone the leaker trusts not to burn them. That usually means some kind of personal relationship.

So I understand that a reporter will frequently have a personal relationship with his source, especially if the revelation of the source could expose him (or very definitely her) to criminal liability.

But why is he allowed to go outside his brief as a "reporter" and make opinion journalist arguments on behalf of his sources?

And why is he permitted to do so without CNN requiring him to make the most basic disclosures of his conflicts of interest on these matters?

On Monday, CNN's Jim Sciutto dismissed Bloomberg's scoop on Susan Rice as "largely ginned up, partly as a distraction from this larger investigation." However, the journalist failed to mention that he has a connection to the key figure in this story, as he once worked at the State Department during the Obama administration between 2011 and 2013.

This means that Sciutto and Rice both worked for the Obama White House. During the same time period, Rice was serving as President Barack Obama‘s ambassador to the United Nations.

The journalist’s connection to Rice goes beyond the Obama administration, as RedState pointed out in a Tuesday post. Before he joined the State Department, Sciutto worked at ABC. During his time at the Big Three network, one of his colleagues was Ian Cameron, who happens to be married to Susan Rice.

It should be noted that some of Sciutto's "reporting" about the perfect innocence of Susan Rice is attributed to a "source close to Rice," which could very well be Sciutto's old colleague and Susan Rice's husband.

If that's the case, why is his name being withheld? A husband faces no liability or threat of retaliation for standing up for his wife.

No, if the source for his "Susan's a perfect innocent in all this" "reporting" is Rice's husband, then that name is being made anonymous to give it additional credence -- no one would put any stock in a husband vouching for a wife.

Anyway, this possibility underscores the need for Sciutto's connections to Rice and to the Obama State Department to be frequently disclosed, his "reporting" scrutinized to make sure he's not disguising the names of his "sources" for non-journalistically defensible reasons, and for him to be barred from offering opinion editorial commentary on the story.

If he's got a direct line to the Rice household, fine, that makes him a conduit for Rice's spin, which CNN should use.

But CNN should not allow him to play Mob Lawyer for the Obama Administration and Susan Rice by offering conspiracy theories that exculpate them, based on noting but his partisan impulses and personal feelings for his colleagues and fellow leftists.

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posted by Ace at 04:04 PM

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