In the wake of U.S. Sen. Martha McSally shutting down a question from CNN's Manu Raju and calling him a "liberal hack" Thursday, well-known hosts at the cable network went to bat — bigly — for their colleague.
What's the background?
As McSally walked to her office, Raju — CNN's senior congressional correspondent — chased down the Republican from Arizona and asked, "Should the Senate consider new evidence as part of the impeachment trial?"
"Manu, you're a liberal hack," McSally replied. "I'm not talking to you."
"You're not gonna comment?" Raju asked.
"You're a liberal hack," McSally repeated.
Oh, it's on
Here's rough list of their descriptions of the senator's interaction with Raju:
- "Awful, awful thing"
- "Beneath the dignity of how a senator should behave"
- "Warning shot that Republicans and the Trump administration and the whole MAGA universe is just going to be trying to weaponize what President Trump has created, which is this groundswell of media hatred"
And let's not forget:
- "Called him names"
Check out this entertaining supercut from MRC-TV:
Anderson Cooper during his segment "The RidicuList" seemed particularly peeved at McSally and tried to convey wit but instead often came off as immature, pretending to be shocked that she was appointed rather than elected to office and saying she has become a "desperate politician":
She's trying to make money off the fact that she called Manu Raju a liberal hack. And you know what? The president is now asking people to donate to her because she was rude and unprofessional to a reporter. So, big, long, slow clap for you.
This writer's perspective
Back in the "old days" of journalism, reporters were trained to take their verbal lumps from those they interview — and to simply keep doing their jobs, which at the time was reporting the facts — and from all angles. And you absolutely never became part of the story.
So CNN is put off by President Trump calling it "fake news"? Big deal. They're offended that one of their colleagues was called a "liberal hack"? Suck it up. Recognize that being treated rudely from time to time is part of the job. Sure, non-reporters like reporters when they're writing stories favorable to them — and of course hate the media when getting called on the carpet. It's called human nature.
Non-reporters and non-journalists — politicians included — aren't supposed to help out the media or be fair to the media or be respectful to the media. The media is supposed to help itself out, let verbal abuse slide right off their backs, and keep being fair despite poor treatment and keep informing the public.
Cooper said perhaps McSally shouldn't hold political office if she can't answer a question. Hey, Anderson — perhaps you and your buddies should rethink the titles of "reporter" and "journalist" if you can't take insults in stride and keep reporting the facts.