Ocasio-Cortez condemns CNN for hiring former Trump aide Sarah Isgur Flores as political editor

'Are we still pretending that hires like these are evidence of a meritocracy?' tweets Democratic congresswoman

Chris Baynes
Wednesday 20 February 2019 13:20
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticised CNN for appointing a former Trump administration official to be a political editor
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticised CNN for appointing a former Trump administration official to be a political editor

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has criticised CNN for hiring a former Trump administration official with no experience of journalism as a political editor.

The Democratic congresswoman said the appointment of Sarah Isgur Flores, former senior adviser in the US Department of Justice, showed the industry was not a “meritocracy”.

CNN staff have also voiced concerns about the network hiring the long-time Republican operative to coordinate coverage of the 2020 presidential election.

Ms Isgur Flores has previously been communications director for Republican National Committee and worked for the campaign teams of former presidential hopefuls Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez said: “Sorry, didn’t get the latest memo after 1,000 experienced + qualified journalists of all stripes were let go w/o warning a few weeks ago and still looking for work: are we still pretending that hires like these are evidence of a meritocracy?”

The appointment of Ms Isgur Flores comes weeks after the announcement of thousands of job losses at media organisations including Buzzfeed, HuffPost, and newspaper publisher Gannett.

CNN has rejected criticism of the hire.

“The notion that she isn't qualified for this role is absurd," an unnamed executive told the network’s media correspondent Brian Stelter. “There are plenty of examples of people going from high profile political jobs to news networks.”

Ms Isgur Flores will help manage journalists and coordinate use of stories between the network's television and digital arms, the broadcaster has said.

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