The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Friday, April 27, 2018

CNN Guest Contributor's Ridiculous Scott Pruitt Defense

Our piece has a primary focus on how one conservative CNN contributor handled his time on air during Pruitt's Congressional hearing appearances of yesterday.  We find it truly amazing the extent to which conservative paid talking-heads follow scripts which seem to be developed overnight and as timely as necessary for addressing the daily blunders and Keystone Copish nature of the Trump Administration. I personally heard the phrase "character assassination" twice on yesterday.

Before we probe the CNN segment, consider a bit of background on Pruitt's days in office. Consider visiting the Media Matters page for a more detailed review of what some consider scandalous or potentially scandalous (and as a minimum abuse of office).

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Trump's EPA Head, Scott Pruitt, is under heavy scrutiny due to what many rational Americans would consider abuse of office, abuse of power and violations of ethics (while in office).

One week ago Media Matters published a detailed list of Pruitt scandals since taking office. As the EPA head has been in office less than two years, the list is almost unbelievable and seems to have a very active archiving life cycle; it continues to grow through last week. 

A few examples include:
  • February 24, 2017, KOKH: Pruitt lied to senators about his use of a private email account.
  • May 17, 2017, ThinkProgress: An EPA appointee appeared to violate Trump's ethics order on lobbyists.
  • June 16, 2017, Bloomberg: Pruitt met with oil executives at Trump’s D.C. hotel, then backed away from a regulation on oil companies. 
  • September 26, 2017, Wash. Post: Pruitt spent about $43,000 on a private soundproof booth, violating federal spending law. 
  • September 27, 2017, Wash. Post: Pruitt spent $58,000 on charter and military flights. 
  • February 11, 2018, Wash. Post: Pruitt spent $90,000 on first-class flights and other travel in a single week. 
  • February 13, 2018, CBS News: Pruitt flew luxury business class on a foreign airline. 
  • March 6, 2018, Wash. Post: EPA awarded a bug-sweeping contract to a business associate of Pruitt’s head of security.
  • March 28, 2018, Politico: EPA signs research agreement with firm tied to GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson.
  • March 29, 2018, ABC News/Bloomberg: Pruitt paid below-market rent for a condo co-owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist
  • March 30, 2018, CNN: Taxpayers paid for Pruitt’s 24/7 security detail during his personal trips to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl. 
  • April 3, 2018, The Atlantic: The White House told Pruitt he could not give two of his closest aides a pay raise, but he used a loophole to do it anyway. 
  • April 5, 2018, CBS News: Pruitt asked to use vehicle siren during non-emergency, reassigned staffer who objected. 
  • April 6 and 9, 2018, Wash. Post/The Atlantic: Doubts cast on Pruitt’s claim that he did not approve controversial pay raises
  • April 21, 2018, NY Times: Pruitt’s partners in ethically questionable behavior in Oklahoma now work for him at EPA.
Pruitt spent the majority of today in two hearings before members of Congress. While one hearing was void of representatives from the GOP, media reports Democrats grilled him as if he stole their office desk chairs. 

As the day unfolded CNN covered the Pruitt sandals and today's hearings. Network producers followed their broadcast model via bookinga liberal contributor and a conservative contributor, Stephen Moore and liberal contributor Joan Walsh, for remote commentary with Erin Burnett. From the beginning of the segment (introductions), Moore appeared a bit uneasy and well different than his frequent early interview smiles and grins. His mission was twofold and he knew Donald Trump was watching the show while consuming a Diet Coke. While I am certainly well versed in the day's talking points, he went about his mission with the courage of the most dedicated of propagandists. The mission: defend Pruitt via focusing on Pruitt as an innocent victim of a liberal smear campaign while deflecting back to the Obama Administration with full-blown false equivalence. 

Sadly his mission embodied expectations from the Trump White House and point-counterpoint from CNN producers as a viewer entertainment segment. 

Watch and listen as Moore deploys the "character assassination" of Scott Pruitt strategy based on his anti-climate change beliefs and administration. He actually attempted to equate the number (and amount) of Pruitt's finances abuses with a weird (seemingly from the White House) analogy to Obama administration expenditures on climate conferences.
Moore didn't seem to make one point throughout the segment which didn't (via ridiculous examples) seem to offer more shame related to Pruitt's scandals.  It is impossible to explain and excuse the inexcusable.

If you viewed the full interview you witnessed a few examples of a society devolving to ruin via on-camera rationalizing political malfeasance and abuse coupled with a major news network staging predictable ideology segments with no purpose beyond viewer ratings: an advertisers dream.

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