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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Manu Raju, CNN’s senior congressional correspondent, was simply going about his job last Thursday when he approached Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz) to inquire whether the Senate should consider new evidence as part of the impeachment trial.
Rather than provide a response one way or another, or even a curt “no comment,” McSally hurled an insult at Raju, calling him a “liberal hack,” adding, “I’m not talking to you.”
Thing is: Raju is anything but a liberal hack.
Raju is an accomplished and experienced reporter, who actually built much of his early career in print media.
Looking at his biography online, Raju’s first job in Washington DC was at Inside Washington Publishers, which told me all I needed to know.
Inside Washington Publishers takes entry-level journalists, and plugs them into business coverage beats for long hours at relatively low pay.
It’s a place for many apprentice journalists to practice their trade.
(Full disclosure: I never worked there myself but did work at a number of competing shops around town.)
Beyond that, Raju went on to write for name political publications like The Hill and Politico before finally going on air for CNN.
Raju is a consummate professional.
Thankfully, he has had so many stick up for him, from his CNN colleague Chris Cuomo, who called McSally “a punk” on air, to the National Press Club.
Joint statement issued by @PressClubDC & @NPCInstitute in support of @CNN‘s @mkraju: “Manu Raju is a consummate professional who is respected by his journalistic peers and the people he covers, politics notwithstanding. Stating the contrary is factually and ethically wrong.” pic.twitter.com/DjgxI9aVpy
— National Press Club (@PressClubDC) January 17, 2020
On the other side of this ugly encounter is Senator McSally.
A marginal congresswoman in Arizona, she first ran for Senate in 2018, for the seat opening up at the time by the retirement of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)…. and she lost, to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.
But, like a political zombie, McSally came back. Arizona’s Republican governor appointed her to the unexpired term left in the state’s other Senate seat, remaining from the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz).
So now McSally is back, roaming the Halls of Congress, bringing embarrassment and shame to herself and the state she represents.
To say that McSally owes Raju an apology is obvious.
More than that, unfortunately, Arizona voters have to go to the polls one more time this November and reject McSally and the lack of ethics and manners she represents one more time.
We can only hope that this will be the last time.
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