CNN and two of its political analysts — Hilary Rosen and Alex Castellanos — are coming under some scrutiny this week for the commentators’ reported ties to BP. WaPo’s Greg Sargent wrote Monday:
This morning’s Washington Post reports that BP has retained the services of Rosen, a Democrat who heads the Washington office of the Brunswick Group, to help out with BP’s lobbying and public relations offensive inside the Beltway. Rosen has contracted out some of this work for BP to Castellanos…
NY Daily News’ Frank DiGiacomo writes today that some producers in CNN’s Washington bureau “are upset over this.” The network pointed out that neither commentators have been on the air recently. “Both Alex and Hilary are contributors used primarily to comment on political issues, and they are not being used to discuss the oil disaster story,” a spokesperson said to WaPo.
The Huffington Post “cut ties” with Rosen earlier this month when she began consulting for BP, though Rosen was HuffPost’s D.C. “editor-at-large” which is arguable altogether different from being a panelist.
According to a TVEyes search, Castellanos last appeared on the network on May 18 for primary election coverage and Rosen last appeared on June 9th to discuss women in politics. We were unable to find an instance where BP or the oil spill were topics either discussed.
This is not the first time a lobbying issue has come up with Castellanos, but we do know that CNN has had a history of disclosing — on-screen — professional ties its analysts have with other organizations.
So is this a real concern for CNN or is it blown out of proportion?