Robert Reich explores the compelling question of why CBS News hired Trump loyalists Mick Mulvaney

Robert Reich explores the compelling question of why CBS News hired Trump loyalists Mick Mulvaney
Image via Screengrab

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is offering insight on a controversial topic that many have questions about: Why on earth did CBS News hire former Trump White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney?

In an op-ed written for The Guardian, Reich tackled the issue of Mulvaney's hiring just days after he made his first CBS appearance on “MoneyWatch."

During that segment, Mulvaney, who is now an on-air contributor for the network, was asked to break down President Joe Biden's plan to increase taxation on America's ultra-wealthy. He also noted that the anchor, Anne-Marie Green, introduced Mulvaney as a former White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director and that she failed to mention the chaotic presidential administration he worked for. While he did serve in that capacity, he was also a partisan Trumpist.

Then she asked him if "regular working-class Americans" should be concerned about Biden's tax initiative. Reich highlighted Mulvaney’s answer: “It’s easy to look at it and say, ‘Don’t worry, you’re not going to pay this,’ but regular working Americans would have to 'prove that they don’t have to pay it,' a burden that 'could be troublesome: every single year proving that you’re not worth a hundred million dollars.'”

Mulvaney's response is what Reich suggested is most problematic and also an example of the reason for concern about his hiring.

"This is as misleading as it gets in broadcast media (except for Fox News)," he wrote. "Nothing in Biden’s proposal to tax the super-rich requires that people prove they’re not super-rich. Mulvaney’s claim was pure demagoguery."

He added, "That’s what we should expect from Mulvaney. In 2019 Mulvaney threatened to withhold U.S. aid to Ukraine to fight Russian aggression unless President Zelenskiy came up with dirt on Hunter Biden. (This was the call in which Zelenskiy’s plea 'we need more Javelins' – anti-tank missiles that have proved crucial in Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion – was met with Trump’s 'I would like you to do us a favor though.'”

Reich went on to offer a number of times Mulvaney has dropped the ball for the sake of politicization. From his 2019 threats toward Ukraine demanding dirt on Hunter Biden to his conspiracy theory stance on the COVID-19 pandemic he described as a "media hoax," Reich highlighted the unfavorable moments in his career that should raise questions about his credibility.

He also criticized CBS News noting the stark difference in the network now compared to what it once was. "When I was growing up, CBS News was the home of news legends like Edward R Murrow and Walter Cronkite – pioneers who set the standards for broadcast news," he wrote. "So why is CBS News now reaching into the cesspool of Trump conspirators and enablers to hire Mulvaney?"

Reich went on to push back against the explanation for Mulvaney's hiring which was provided by CBS News' Neeraj Khemlani. When asked about Mulvaney, Khemlani claimed "when it comes to contributor hires, 'getting access to both sides of the aisle is a priority because we know the Republicans are going to take over, most likely, in the midterms.'”

For that statement, Reich raised questions. “Getting access” to what? To the big lie about the 2020 election? To lies about Covid? To bonkers economics?" he wrote.

Reich concluded by saying, "CBS News, like every news outlet, has a cardinal responsibility to protect American democracy from this growing menace," he wrote. "To fulfill this responsibility, it must report accurately what is occurring. It should not pander to the menace by hiring a person who has had a hand in it and will further obscure the truth."


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}