Sister Toldjah at RedState reported CNN head of “strategic communications” Matt Dornic on Wednesday “thought he’d play gotcha games with Fox News media reporter Brian Flood by pointing out how Flood sometimes goes about trying to obtain quotes from sources via LinkedIn.” The strategy didn’t end well.
Dornic noted CNN employees forwarded their emails from Flood, quite the loyal exercise:
After all these years of covering CNN, Brian still has to troll LinkedIn for anonymous quotes (from employees of literally any department) to use in his hit pieces. We’ve been forwarded over a dozen of these in the past 24 hours. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/P0LwYf6mkK
— Matt Dornic (@mdornic) February 3, 2021
Washington Post media columnist Erik Wemple, a routine basher of Fox News, was the first Dornic critic I found on Twitter: “I have to disagree with this sentiment. Here, @briansflood is doing what many reporters, myself included, do: Trying to craft an appeal to sources.” He added: “Now: I have massive problems with @foxnews, for sure. But I think it’s best *not* to blast a reporter for sending out a 100 percent legit attempt to gather sources. Don’t controversialize reporting.”
So are we to believe CNN never uses tactics like this to find sources? No. CNN alums were frank. Matt Ostrower tweeted “I did this while working at CNN – and every employer before that. It’s about using all the tools at one’s disposal. I’d use a carrier pigeon if I had to. #journalism”
The same sentiment came from Heather Kelly: “This a way reporters get sources. It’s a tool I and many other reporters at CNN would frequently use to do our jobs.”
Los Angeles Times national correspondent Matt Pearce singled out the CNN Media Unit: “Should I forward you queries I get from CNN media reporters who want to know stuff about my workplace or is that bad, in your mind?”
Others underlined how normal this was. Justin Baragona of the Daily Beast (a Stelter favorite) tweeted “This is actually a very normal and standard thing for a reporter to do.” Ben Smith of the New York Times agreed, but stuck some anti-Fox sentiment in: “This is a …totally normal way to report. Possibly not at CNN? But certainly everywhere else. Not a lot of people at Fox who do original reporting, but don’t really get the objection.”
Matt Whitlock, until recently a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, explained “I have gotten this kind on inquiry from CNN reporters on just about every social media platform… Twitter, Facebook, and yes.. even LInkedIn. And I didn’t find it unusual at all.”
We should disclose that Brian Flood calls us at NewsBusters for pithy quotes from time to time, so we may be a little biased. But even CNN’s “mainstream” counterparts aren’t buying this particular attempt at Fox-shaming.