The former press aide to ex-Attorney General Jeff Sessions will revise her planned role at CNN after details of the hire sparked controversy.
Sarah Isgur Flores, a Republican press strategist, had planned to join CNN to help manage coverage of politics. But news of the move generated two common maladies associated with the current media age: social-media backlash and internal hand-wringing among staffers eager to communicate that status to observers outside the company. Flores said via Twitter Friday that she plans to take on a political analyst role at CNN instead.
“Will start next month on air and on line,” she said in a post. “See y’all soon!” Isgur Flores had been meeting with CNN’s Washington executives in recent days and expressed a desire to change the duties she would be assigned, according to a person familiar with the matter. She is expected to provide political analysis on CNN’s TV programs and its digital venues.
“We can confirm that when Sarah came to us and proposed her role be adjusted to a political analyst instead, we agreed and we look forward to her starting in that role,” CNN said in a statement.
Critics had raised the point that Isgur Flores had n the past has criticized CNN coverage, even going so far as to refer to the cable-news outlet as the Clinton News Network – a disparaging reference commonly associated with its conservative critics. They also suggested her political leanings would color the way she guided political stories for CNN’s various news platforms.
In her newly defined role, Isgur Flores will comment on the news of the day, but have no hand in shaping it.
CNN has taken pains during the era of the Trump administration to hire analysts who support White House policy. CNN has for the past few years tried to arrange segments on its shows that feature analysts and commentators with a mix of views on various hot-button issues at the center of the news cycle. Executives have hired a spate of conservative editors and analysts, both for on-camera work and behind-the-scenes reportage. White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins came to CNN from the Daily Caller, for example. Mia Love, a former Republican congresswoman from Utah, is now an on-air analyst. Sarah Westwood, another White House reporter, joined CNN from the Washington Examiner, known to have a conservative editorial stance.
Isgur Flores is just the latest political operative to join a TV-news operation. Tim Russert arrived at NBC News after working as an aide to Senator Patrick Moynihan and Governor Mario Cuomo of New York, for example. In current times, both MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace and Fox News Channel’s Dana Perino gained their roles after working for Republican Presidents in the White House.