Politico has chosen some of media’s most left-wing darlings as guest writers for its “Playbook” newsletter.
CNN host Don Lemon, PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, NBC News political director and host Chuck Todd and Recode co-founder and New York Times opinion writer Kara Swisher are among those who will guest write “Playbook” in January, according to a piece published Wednesday in The Hollywood Reporter.
Playbook’s current writers, Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, announced in October that they both will leave the company at the end of the year.
Lil' bit of news: Politico is having Don Lemon, Chuck Todd, Yamiche Alcindor, and Kara Swisher, among others, fill in as the writers of Playbook until it locks in its new team: https://t.co/zCJgTHb9Du pic.twitter.com/w5wCbX0ahe
— Alex Weprin (@alexweprin) December 30, 2020
Todd was forced to apologize in May after he played a deceptively edited clip of Attorney General Bill Barr on “Meet the Press.”
His apology, however, appeared hollow, as Todd shifted the blame to CBS News.
“In the full version of the interview and transcript, he [Barr] went on to say, ‘But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law,’” Todd said at the time. “Now, we did not edit that out. That was not our edit. We didn’t include it because we only saw the shorter of two clips that CBS did air.”
In another apparent example of bias, Mark Hemingway called out Todd in a 2019 op-ed after a contentious segment where he went after Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s FBI investigation, calling it “Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff.”
“But far from being a laudable moment of press accountability, the ‘Meet the Press’ interview was a disappointing turn for Todd and the show, once one of the media’s flagship brands,” Hemingway wrote. “Indeed, the full interview illustrated how the media are increasingly obsessed with performative demonstrations of their political views, and less concerned with simply being informative.”
Alcindor has followed the footsteps of some other reporters throughout President Donald Trump’s presidency and become well-known for confrontations with the president. She once accused Surgeon General Jerome Adams of using racially charged language and has posed fluff questions to President-elect Joe Biden – compared to some more pointed ones directed at Trump.
PBS' Yamiche Alcindor asks Biden "What do you say to Americans especially immigrant Americans who came to the United States, looking for political stability and seeing all the things that the President is doing?"
Biden: "Hang on, I'm on my way. That's what I say to them. pic.twitter.com/qY84Riu9Js
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 19, 2020
Alcindor has also spread misinformation throughout her career, falsely claiming in September that Kenosha, Wisconsin, shooting victims were “unarmed.” In August, she was called out for spreading an out-of-context quote from Trump about protecting the suburbs.
Yesterday, President @realDonaldTrump said he wanted to protect suburbs for ALL Americans of ALL backgrounds, but the unconscionably dishonest tweet below omitted the vast majority of his actual quote to make it seem like he was saying the opposite.
— Kayleigh McEnany 45 Archived (@PressSec45) August 13, 2020
Lemon, host of “Don Lemon Tonight,” has previously claimed he’s not a “liberal” Democrat and “not a partisan.” His actions on camera, however, may indicate something entirely different.
Lemon, along with other guests, mocked Trump supporters during a segment in January 2020.
The CNN host repeatedly devolved into fits of laughter as the trio of commentators repeated various stereotypes to make fun of Trump and those who back him. Lemon has consistently decried Republicans and the Trump administration over the past few years.
Lemon also spent time downplaying the riots. Finally, when polls indicated that it was hurting Democrats leading up to the 2020 election, Lemon said on-air that it was time to address the situation.
“It’s showing up in the polling. It’s showing up in focus groups,” Lemon said about the rioting, as he recommended Biden remind Americans that the rioting was happening under Trump. “It is the only thing, right now, that is sticking.”
The CNN host has spread misinformation in the past, too. He falsely claimed on-air that Fox News failed to report on Hope Hicks’ resignation in 2018, later tweeting out a semi-correction.
Another one of Politico’s guest writers has a history of liberal activism, too. In 2016, Swisher announced that she’d like to run for mayor, declaring herself the “liberal lesbian Donald Trump of San Francisco” before quickly taking it back.
A 2014 profile of Swisher in New York Mag dubbed her “a very liberal young woman” and the opinion writer attacked former NYT op-ed writer Bari Weiss’ resignation letter earlier in 2020, calling it “decidedly inaccurate” and a “sad” “pile of words,” according to the NY Post.
She went after Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett for some of her conservative religious beliefs, suggesting she will come to be “an ally of Justices Thomas and Alito in aiming to limit or overturn the federal guarantee that same-sex couples can marry.”
Despite the guest writers’ bias, liberal media figures have consistently heaped praise on them. Most recently, the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) gave Alcindor an award for her coverage of the White House in 2020, praising her as a “serious, inquisitive” and “tough as nails” reporter.
As Politico turns to left-wing journalists to guest write “the #1 political newsletter by political professionals,” as Playbook says, it remains to be seen what the future will hold for one of D.C.’s best-known sources of news.
To “offset” the multiple left-wing choices, Politico is including the Washington Free Beacon’s editor-in-chief Eliana Johnson as another guest writer, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In addition, other not-yet-named individuals as well as Politico reporters will help with the newsletter for the time being.