Correspondent quits CNN abruptly after calling Trump a ‘demagogue’

A White House correspondent for CNN – whose new chief wants the channel to adopt what he sees as a more politically neutral voice in its coverage – has quit the network after calling Donald Trump a “dishonest demagogue” at the antenna.

John Harwood announced his exit from CNN on his Twitter account on Friday, a day after speaking favorably about a nationally televised address by Joe Biden in which the president said Republican forces loyal to his Oval Office predecessor , Trump, endangered American democracy.

“The focal point [Biden] done in this political speech about a threat to democracy is true,” Harwood said on CNN after the speech, which was in prime time. “Now that’s something that’s not easy to say for us as journalists.”

“We are brought up to believe that there are two different political parties with different views, and we don’t take sides in honest disagreements between them. But that’s not what we’re talking about. These are honest disagreements. The Republican Party is currently led by a dishonest demagogue.

At noon on Friday, Harwood, 65, tweeted that he was out on CNN.

personal news:

today is my last day at CNN

proud of the work

thanks to my colleagues

I’ve had the good fortune to serve America’s top media – St. Petersburg Times, WSJ, NYT, the NBC family, CNN

can’t wait to find out more

— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) September 2, 2022

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personal news:

today is my last day at CNN

proud of the work

thanks to my colleagues

I’ve had the good fortune to serve America’s top media – St. Petersburg Times, WSJ, NYT, the NBC family, CNN

can’t wait to find out more

— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) September 2, 2022

“Personal News: Today is my last day at CNN,” said Harwood, who added that he had been “lucky” to serve other top US outlets like the St Petersburg Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and NBC. “Proud of work. Thanks to my colleagues.

“Can’t wait to find out what’s next.”

CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Harwood’s departure was prompted by his remarks supporting Biden’s speech and criticizing Trump. Network officials instead released a statement saying, “We appreciate John’s work covering the White House, and we wish him all the best.”

Harwood had two years left on his contract at CNN when he announced his exit, veteran media reporter Dylan Byers said later Friday.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, which cited an unnamed source with insight into the situation, Harwood learned “last month” that he had come out on the channel.

New management took over at CNN in April, after being appointed by its owners, Warner Brothers Discovery. CNN chief Chris Licht — who inherited his post after Jeff Zucker left in February — said he wants to tone down opinions on his shows and return to an older school, more upright and in his less overtly liberal interpretation.

Harwood’s exit comes after the August 21 departure of Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s media affairs show Reliable Sources, which was canceled after 30 years on the air.

Stelter has been doggedly criticized by conservative viewers for his coverage of the Trump administration, which – among other things – tried to cast doubt on the validity of the 2020 election results he lost to Biden.

Stelter, on his last show, also invoked the word “demagogue” when verbally chastising CNN’s new brass.

“It’s not partisan to stand up to demagogues,” said Stelter, who also reportedly had several years on his CNN contract when he left. “It’s mandatory – it’s patriotic.”

Harwood joined CNN in January 2020, about a year before Trump supporters launched a deadly attack on the US Capitol in a desperate attempt to prevent Congressional certification of the former president’s electoral defeat to Biden. .

Prior to that, he was the chief Washington DC correspondent for CNBC, where in 2019 he drew attention to another remark that criticized Trump and his Republican supporters.

Harwood said at the time that Trump and the Republicans who brought him to the Oval Office in 2016 were “fundamentally broken,” making them especially hard to cover for journalists operating in good faith.



Correspondent quits CNN abruptly after calling Trump a ‘demagogue’

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