Multiple CNN hosts and commentators defied CEO Chris Licht’s reported request to avoid using the phrase “big lie” to refer to former President Donald Trump’s claims about the 2020 election Wednesday and Thursday, according to a review of CNN programming by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Licht asked on-air talent to avoid the phrase in a conference call Tuesday, citing concerns that using the term, which has been often pushed by Democrats, was compromising the network’s objectivity, Mediate reported. Licht instead suggested using phrases like “election lies” or “Trump’s election lie.”
Despite this request, hosts Anderson Cooper, Brianna Keilar and Don Lemon and senior political analyst Jon Avlon have continued to use the phrase since the conference call, video reviewed by TheDCNF shows. Avlon used the term seven times in what Keilar introduced as a “reality check” on “New Day“ Wednesday.
Cooper and senior data reporter Harry Enten also used “big lie” when discussing Republican Rep. Liz Cheney’s chances in her August primary election for Wyoming’s congressional seat after Republican Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina was defeated in his primary election Tuesday.
“Is that an indication of how prevalent the beliefs are, the beliefs on the big lie in the Republican Party?” Cooper asked Enten.
“Absolutely,” Enten responded. “The vast majority of Republicans believe this garbage that is the big lie. We’ve seen it in poll after poll after poll.”
Lemon also used the term on his Thursday show on multiple occasions.
“Tom Rice lost his job because he voted to impeach Donald Trump,” Lemon said to CNN analyst Ron Brownstein. “What message does it send to other Republicans like Liz Cheney facing Trump-backed challengers for refusing to push the big lie?”
Licht has sought to rein in left-wing partisanship on CNN and is evaluating whether some of the on-air talent can adapt to the network’s new strategy, according to a report by Axios.
CNN and Warner Media, CNN’s parent company, did not immediately respond to requests for comment from TheDCNF.
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