BP 'link' puts CNN's 'Most Trusted Name in News' tag under cloud

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New York, June 22 (ANI): Even as CNN prides itself as 'The Most Trusted Name in News' the network has reportedly retained two political analysts tied to BP, a move that could threaten its journalistic integrity and reputation, according to observers.

The network could soon find itself in a tight spot over two names: Hilary Rosen, a former recording-industry lobbyist who was hired to be a D.C. navigator for public relations consulting firm The Brunswick Group, and Alex Castellanos, a founder of public-affairs PR firm Purple Strategies.

According to political blogger Greg Sargent, BP has retained the services of Rosen, who has farmed out some of the work to her fellow CNN talking head Castellanos.

Earlier this month, The Huffington Post announced that Rosen would no longer be its Washington editor-at-large because of her new consulting role with BP.

But CNN apparently sees no reason to terminate the services of either Rosen or Castellanos.

A CNN insider said the network hasn't used Rosen or Castellanos on the air recently because coverage has been dominated by the BP oil spill.

CNN spokeswoman Edie Emery also suggests that the two PR rainmakers are still affiliated with the network.

"Both Alex and Hilary are political contributors used to comment on political issues. They are not being used to discuss the oil-disaster story," The New York Daily News quoted Emery, as saying.

But special-interest consultants don't necessarily need to discuss client-related issues on-air to put CNN in ethical quicksand, pointed out one Washington CNN source.

"When Hilary Rosen," who gets a lot of face time as an expert on gay issues, "is on the air defending Obama for dragging his feet on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' the back story is that she's got a lot of business in front of the White House," the informer said. "The question is: Is she saying what she's saying to curry favor?"

The snitch added, "a lot of the network's producers are upset over this." (ANI)

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