Kirsten Powers on Thursday reacted to an allegedly huge CNN interview with a full-throated “meh,” throwing a wet blanket on the entire set and treating viewers to some rare, vintage KP.
Powers, a USA Today Columnist, has a reputation among even some of her critics as being tough but fair. But since Trump’s ascension, she’s chosen the intellectually dishonest path too many times to count. Pretty much every time she’s on CNN she affords President Trump zero latitude for nuance or any benefit of perspective. She’s happily part of the media’s resistance to Trump, and it’s very obvious because the blind partisanship is so out of place on her.
Tonight, inexplicably to some I’m sure, she gave CNN viewers a rare look at vintage Kirsten Powers — who for much of her career was the first to rhetorically roll her eyes at so many of the idiotic things that are said and intimated on cable news sets.
The discussion tonight was around Anderson Cooper’s interview with alleged Trump mistress, Karen McDougal. The interview had been hyped all day on CNN and felt like it ran approximately 9-10 hours.
As the panel took turns congratulating Cooper and coming up with reasons that this means Trump will probably be impeached by July (October at the latest), Powers instead released some intellectual honesty in to the atmosphere; something that hadn’t existed in a CNN studio in a long, long time.
“We have a had a President that this happened to,” she said dismissively. “It was Bill Clinton with Gennifer Flowers. He lied about it. So I don’t think this is something that we haven’t seen before.”
Obviously CNN had spent the day treating this story as they do every story: As though it’s entirely unprecedented and should make everyone rethink everything they thought they knew about the man who calls himself Donald J. Trump. So for Powers to dismiss it so casually, had to hurt many of the regular cast and producers.
But she didn’t stop at just dismissing the relevance. Next she went after Karen McDougal, and justifiably so: “I don’t really understand what Ms. McDougal is trying to accomplish. I mean even the ‘catch and kill’ thing — she sat there and said to you she was happy that they didn’t run the story. She said she didn’t want the story to come out. She says she doesn’t want to hurt Melania or the family. And yet she sits here and has this hour long conversation talking about this. So I have to say I’m at a total loss. What is the end game here? What is she trying to do?”
It’s pretty brutal, but that’s what a lot of us remember about Kirsten Powers back in the day when she was on Fox News. We didn’t always like it, but when she was sure about something, she was always intellectually honest and fair. And if the truth as you saw it wasn’t on her side, it at least wasn’t too far off. Now, today, in the so-called “age of Trump” as Powers and her CNN peers like to snicker about, she hardly ever lobbies for the intellectually honest and fair take. It’s always extremely partisan, blind anti-Trumpism.
And if she reads this she’d probably say “You’re just happy that I finally said something you like. But I’m always intellectually honest and fair.” Of course that’d be her view. Mine is that she’s rarely honest or fair anymore. So what made this time different? Why did she suddenly become honest and fair tonight? I’m guessing that Powers is aware she has a brand. And I’m guessing she’s not aware of how badly it’s damaged. So she’ll still sometimes give viewers on the right something to prove she’s not entirely terrible, all the time. And this issue — which leans heavily in to sexual liberation, and female empowerment — is a great one for her to hit the gas on. So if I had to give a reason, I’d say that’s what we can thank for her crushing CNN’s hopes and dreams tonight. But it could happen every night she’s on, on every other topic. CNN is the most egregious bastion of over-reaching partisanship in media that has or will ever exist. It’s far worse than Fox News, because CNN claims to be impartial. It’s downright delusional at this point, and destructive, and it’s why they’re failing so badly and earning the ire of so many. And Kirsten, once reliably refreshing, is part of it night after night. It’s always the same anti-Trump perspective, start to finish, with zero deference for an alternative view. And if she’s reading this, she should know that some of us see that.