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Tags: kinzinger | licht | zucker

Has CNN Become the Newsroom for Misfit Republicans?

former us rep adam kinzinger

Then-U.S. Rep Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., during the  (R-IL) last meeting of the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 march on the U.S. Capitol in the Canon House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Dec. 19, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Jacob Lane By Wednesday, 18 January 2023 09:28 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

CNN can’t seem to get anything right these days.

Layoffs, poor ratings, and a short-lived streaming service are just a few of the many issues plaguing the original pioneer of 24-hour news coverage.

By the close of 2022, things looked dire for the flailing network.

Jeffrey Zucker was ousted as CEO, longtime personalities like Brian Stelter and John Harwood were given pink slips, and the network’s ratings had collapsed by a whopping 33%.

But lucky for CNN’s dwindling audience, primarily travelers stuck in airports, incoming CEO Chris Licht had a winning strategy to gain back viewers.

In a departure from the Zucker years, Licht signaled he wanted the network’s programming, particularly political coverage, to reflect a wider range of outlooks.

As it turns out, a key component of that new direction is . . . former Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger!

To be fair, it's no small deal that CNN hired a self-described Republican.

Members of the GOP seem to be an endangered species on CNN’s sets these days.

But hiring a former congressman who enjoys higher approval ratings from Democratic voters than from members of his own party isn’t exactly the best way to win back conservative leaning viewers.

When announcing the addition of the former congressman to the network’s lineup, it was noted that Kinzinger was hired in part for his "extensive experience in GOP politics."

Prior to the 2020 presidential election, I would have agreed with that statement.

However, the 2022 election cycle revealed a Kinzinger 2.0, one far removed from the rural district and voters in Illinois that sent him to Congress way back in 2010.

It’s no secret that Kinzinger despises President Trump.

Along with being one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in 2021, Kinzinger was half of the GOP’s representation on the House’s Jan. 6 committee.

The other member was of course Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

Not exactly great company in most Republican circles.

While an overwhelming number of GOP voters viewed the Jan. 6 committee with suspicion, in no small part due to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s rejection of qualified Republican members, one could conceivably take Kinzinger’s involvement as genuine.

Yet Kinzinger chose to take his distaste for Trump to another level, raising money and actively campaigning for Democratic candidates in the 2022 election.

Kinzinger endorsed four Democratic secretary of state candidates, along with two Democratic candidates for governor.

He made the endorsements through his leadership PAC: Country First.

Ironically, Kinzinger’s PAC claims to support candidates who back "real opportunity for all," with education prominently featured as a basic right that should be ensured to all kids, regardless of zip code or family income level.

In spite of that noble mission, every Democratic candidate endorsed by Kinzinger’s PAC opposed school choice policies that would provide children of all backgrounds a leg up.

Of course, they made up for it in their vocal opposition to Trump, which was enough to gain Kinzinger’s stamp of approval.

Kinzinger’s PAC also addresses election integrity, claiming that "Americans must have confidence that their vote counts."

Yet again, each of the six Democratic candidates financially propped up by the former congressman remain steadfastly opposed to voter ID laws.

Whether it’s school choice or election integrity policies, Republicans, both in the conservative and liberal wings of the party, overwhelmingly support such measures.

But Kinzinger seems to oppose both these days.

Lastly, despite running as a fiscal conservative in his multiple campaigns for office, Kinzinger voted in favor of the $1.7 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill in one of his final votes in Congress.

The bill, which Kinzinger likely didn’t have the time to read given the fact it was over 4,000 pages long, was a smorgasbord of Democratic goodies.

Earmarks that made it into the final bill included $7.5 million for the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, $5 million for the Upper Columbia United Tribes Salmon Reintroduction Project, and $4 million for the Covina High School pool.

All courtesy of the American taxpayer.

CNN deserves credit for attempting to add a different perspective to their political lineup.

However, if their long-term goal is to win back conservative and right-leaning viewers, it would be best to hire a contributor who actually believes in and supports conservative ideas and values.

In the meantime, Kinzinger will no doubt feel at home at the floundering network.

Much like the "Island of Misfit Toys" in the 1964 Christmas classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," CNN has become an outpost of so-called "Republican" pundits whose policies do not align with that of a majority of the party faithful.

At least Chris Licht, like "King Moonracer" before him, is providing a home for these lost commentators until a suitable party can be found for them.

Jacob Lane is a Republican strategist and school choice activist. He has worked for GOP campaigns at the federal, state and local levels, as well as with various PACs and non-profits. Read Jacob Lane's Reports — More Here.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Lucky for CNN’s dwindling audience, primarily travelers stuck in airports, incoming CEO Chris Licht had a winning strategy to gain back viewers. Licht signaled he wanted the network’s programming to reflect a wider range of outlooks.
kinzinger, licht, zucker
Wednesday, 18 January 2023 09:28 AM
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