PR-wise it's been a pretty shitty week for CNN, all things considered.
First Jon Stewart and The Daily Show mercilessly ridicules the network for its in-depth coverage of a Saturday Night Live sketch.
Now this: One of CNN's most ubiquitous political contributors -- GOP "strategist" and health care reform hitman Alex Castellanos -- has been outed as being in the pocket of the private health insurance industry he's regularly championing on-air. This is what's known as a conflict of interest, for those of you playing at home -- and it's a very big ethical no-no. What's an even bigger ethical no-no, though, is not bothering to disclose the conflict of interest to the audience when you know about it.
If CNN didn't know Castellanos was working for the insurance industry, then they're incompetent.
If they knew about it and said nothing, then they're completely disreputable.
Either way, it speaks volumes about CNN these days.
The New York Times: CNN To Disclose Contributor's Ties to Advocacy Group/10.15.09