- The Washington Times - Friday, October 28, 2016

New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet is blaming CNN and Fox News for the rise of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying the cable news networks’ blend of journalism and entertainment is “bad for democracy.”

“This mix of entertainment and news, and news masquerading as entertainment, is kind of funny except that we now have a guy who is a product of that world nominated as Republican presidential nominee,” Mr. Baquet said in a London interview with the Financial Times published Friday.

He said the journalistic practices at Fox News and CNN are “in the long run, bad for democracy and those institutions.”

“Fox News at its heart is not a journalistic institution. Megyn Kelly is a great journalist, Chris Wallace is a great journalist, but it is some weird mix of a little bit of journalism, a little bit of entertainment, a little bit of pandering to a particular audience,” he continued. “I don’t think Roger Ailes will go down as one of the great journalists of his time.”

Mr. Baquet also criticized CNN for hiring Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, whom the executive editor described as “a political shill.”

Mr. Trump has strongly criticized The Times and even threatened to sue over its campaign coverage. Most recently, the paper published pages from the Republican nominee’s 1995 tax returns. Mr. Baquet previously stated that he would have risked jail if it meant the chance to publish a leaked copy of Mr. Trump’s tax returns.

Mr. Baquet defended The Times’ coverage of Mr. Trump, saying the newspaper was forced to re-evaluate its approach to political coverage.

“We are used to warring philosophies, but this is different,” he told the Financial Times. “This is a guy who makes stuff up. I am not opposed to his presidency, that is not my job. But my job is not to beat around the bush when a candidate lies.”

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