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The website Mediaite is adept at chronicling the best fights on cable news, and based on their recent coverage, newly hired pro-Trump CNN contributor Ed Martin is having a particularly active first few weeks on the job. Recent headlines on the site have described Martin being ripped, confronted and in one case called “a creep” by fellow contributor Ana Navarro.
It’s not clear when Martin was officially hired, as CNN does not generally announce new contributors and did not do so in Martin’s case. Instead, he took it upon himself to seemingly cobble together an announcement that bears a resemblance to a corporate press release and last week posted a screenshot of it on Twitter.
“Proud to join @CNN as a Political Contributor to continue to make the case for Donald Trump and his leadership,” Martin wrote on Twitter as part of his announcement.
Either way, Martin will serve in the role that Jeffrey Lord played on the network before he was terminated on Aug. 10 for his language during a Twitter spat with the president of Media Matters for America. Martin is nothing if not polished, having appeared on all the major cable news channels this year. He also helped his pro-Trump credentials by co-writing a 2016 book called The Conservative Case for Trump.
As The Hollywood Reporter noted a day after Lord’s dismissal, CNN’s pool of potential pro-Trump contributors is not a massive one, and the network already has people on its roster of contributors who generally defend the president and the Republican Party more broadly. Martin, like Lord, seems to be more of an old-school conservative, and less of a new-media conservative firebrand in the Tomi Lahren or Charlie Kirk vein.
Martin, the former chair of the Missouri Republican Party and a protégé of the late conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, could not be reached for comment. CNN did not provide a statement explaining the network’s desire to bring him on.
But Lord had nice things to say about Martin, whom he said he’s known for a while. “He’s great — a smart guy and I’m sure he will do well,” Lord said in an email to THR. “Doubtless he, like me, will say things that go against the grain. After a while it will add up and there will surely be those pushing to get rid of him. … Being a serious Trump supporter at CNN is having a perpetual bull’s-eye on your back — and front as well!”
Angelo Carusone, who was on the receiving end of the “Sieg heil!” tweet that ended Lord’s run, expressed frustration with CNN’s desire to, as he put it, “gaslight” viewers by bringing on a stalwart Trump supporter to express a perspective that at times might differ from the facts on the ground. “I don’t understand why CNN feels the need to hire somebody to gaslight us,” he said, “whether it’s Ed Martin or another Trump sycophant. Why?”
Carusone said that CNN might see hiring pro-Trump contributors as a way to inoculate the network from conservative criticism, as he figured was the rationale for Lord’s hiring. “I thought they would have learned their lesson, but they haven’t,” he said.
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