CNN held accountable for ‘heartless’ interview of possibly drunk Sam Nunberg for ratings: He ‘needs help, not exploitation’

CNN will not stop at nothing to boost its flailing ratings, even if it means exploiting possibly drunk Sam Nunberg on live TV.

That’s what journalists remarked after watching Erin Burnett “interview” the former Trump aide, all the while noting that she smelled alcohol on his breath.

“Talking to you, I have smelled alcohol on your breath,” Burnett told Nunberg. He denied he was drunk, but admitted that had taken anti-depressants. And despite his train-wreck behavior, Burnett continued with the interview.

Trump fired Nunberg in August 2015 after racially charged Facebook posts were uncovered on his personal account.

CNN was widely slammed by both liberals and conservatives for exploiting an apparently impaired guest rather cut the interview short. After all, CNN has never hesitated to pull a Trump supporter off the air or cut their mics if they disagreed with what he was saying.

Many on Twitter said CNN committed journalistic malfeasance and violated ethics by allowing Nunberg to behave erratically on live TV, when he spewed a series of nonsensical comments.

“The man needs help. Not exploitation,” Washington Examiner columnist T. Becket Adams said.

Adams continued: “Saying ‘some say you’re drunk’ to an interview subject on live TV is sh*tty, esp. if he has a problem and has fallen off the wagon. Following up with, ‘I can smell alcohol on you’ is doubly sh*tty *and* heartless.”

Others agreed, saying CNN has “no moral compass” by moving ahead with an interview when they suspected the guest was drunk or otherwise impaired.

Journalist Noah Rothman asked: “If you really thought he was impaired, would it be ethical to put him in front of a camera?”

Before a guest does a live interview, he talks to producers, where he’s briefed on what they will discuss on-air. So CNN staffers were probably already aware that Sam Nunberg was possibly drunk, but went ahead with the segment because they knew the video would go viral and embarrass President Trump.

Sarah Sanders shuts down CNN hack Jim Acosta: ‘It’s not about YOU!”

But as usual, the anti-Trump CNN overplayed its hand, and the ploy boomeranged on them. And despite its best efforts, CNN still failed.

Samantha Chang

Samantha Chang

Samantha Chang is a politics/lifestyle writer and a financial editor at Investopedia. She is a law school graduate and an alum of the University of Pennsylvania. You can find her on Twitter at @Samantha_Chang.
Samantha Chang

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