Cortney O’Brien at Townhall reports Republicans are angry over CNN and Washington Post reports questioning whether CIA director Mike Pompeo’s wife Susan is too involved with her husband’s career. She should be home baking cookies? Did these people miss the story of Hillary Clinton?
O’Brien reports Sen. Tom Cotton expressed his disgust on the Hugh Hewitt radio show: “Hugh, those two articles are the worst kind of Resistance fan fiction that are based on no facts whatsoever, simply on feelings. I mean, CNN has assigned a 25-year-old Mother Jones reporter to launch an attack on Susan Pompeo, who as you say is widely respected, even beloved inside the Agency.”
CNN’s reporter Jenna McLaughlin is brand new to the network after a year at Foreign Policy magazine and a year as the “Ben Bagdikian Fellow” at Mother Jones. (Bagdikian worked for The Washington Post and later wrote left-wing media critiques like The Media Monopoly and The Effete Conspiracy.)
Cotton added that, unlike Mike Pompeo, who is tasked with protecting thousands, the journalists at CNN and The Washington Post have probably never “had the responsibility for a single life in their hands.”
The senator added “I think both of these stories in CNN and the Washington Post refute themselves. I mean, they report on a few unnamed sources who have, you know, their feelings and perceptions. But then the fact of the matter is that Susan’s role is exactly like the role of the wives of past directors to support family members and to make sure the Agency is taking care of them.”
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Both stories include that point, quoting former top CIA officials saying this isn’t unusual. In the Post, there’s this:
“My wife, Stephanie [Glakas-Tenet] and Susan Pompeo clearly did things to contribute to the agency’s mission,” [Michael] Hayden said. “If you’re looking for a balance here, the CIA and the government got two for the price of one.”
That’s exactly the language the Clintons used in 1992. So then why publish this? Easy: Because Pompeo’s got a confirmation hearing as Secretary of State to handle. Shane Harris at the Post applied the usual Anonymous Sources Thrive in Darkness digs:
Susan Pompeo’s presence at the agency, along with her use of office space and help from staff, has raised questions internally about the nature of her duties and why agency resources are being used to support her, according to people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk about a sensitive subject.
The misuse of government travel and other perquisites of office has been a persistent issue in the Trump administration.
The source is anonymous “to talk about a sensitive subject”? That doesn’t tell you in any way how the source has any knowledge or expertise, and it certainly doesn’t tell you if the source is a Democrat on a congressional intelligence committee. This way, both the source and the newspaper pretend to be “nonpartisan.”
The misuse of anony-mouse sources has been a persistent issue in the Trump era.
LifeNews.com Note: Tim Graham is the director of media analysis for the Media Research Center, a media watchdog group. He was a White House correspondent for World magazine in 2001 and 2002. This originally appeared on the NewsBusters web site.