The media gets frazzled when they are sideswiped with challenging questions about themselves – as evidenced this week by uneasy moments for two of CNN's top anchors, former Rep. Michael Patrick Flanagan says.
"The press doesn't like having their own tactics turned on them," Flanagan, an Illinois Republican, said Wednesday to Newsmax's J.D. Hayworth.
In the first, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu confronted "New Day" co-anchor Alisyn Camerota, and another in which President Donald Trump's son, Donald Jr., put the screws to anchor Anderson Cooper.
Sununu accused CNN of pushing its own version of news concerning Russian interference in the 2016 election, and asked Camerota what would happen if special counsel Robert Mueller finds there is nothing to back up the claims of collusion.
"If Mueller comes out and says that my version is correct and yours isn't, how much crow are you going to eat?" Sununu said. Camerota denied she had a version of the events, to which Sununu shot back, "of course you do."
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Flanagan, president of Flanagan Consulting LLC, a Washington D.C.-based public policy and lobbying group, said of the exchange:
"Alisyn there is having a tough time answering questions, which she doesn't ever have to do because to answer a question is to actually have to take a position and be responsible for what you're doing and it's really gross and sad that she can't deal with it in this way."
In the second instance, Trump Jr., tweeted out a question to Cooper asking him about the controversy surrounding Kathy Griffin, his longtime co-host on CNN's New Year's Eve show.
The flame-haired comic released a grotesque photo in which she holds a facsimile of the president's head, bloody and severed – a twisted attempt at a gag that went horribly wrong.
It began when Cooper tweeted:
Griffin later apologized for the horrific photo, stating "I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people." CNN on Wednesday cut ties with her.
"[Trump Jr.] went after Anderson Cooper and asked him, will you appear with Kathy Griffin after her outrageous stunt?" Flanagan said, adding he hopes to see more activism by interviewees turning the tables on the media.
"Governor Sununu and Don Trump Jr. did a great job of it and we ought to do more of it collectively, a lot more," Flanagan said.
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