By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Lewandowski can’t tell CNN viewers what he really thinks

Corey Lewandowski says hello to reporter Michelle Fields earlier this year.

Corey Lewandowski gives an affectionate shove to reporter Michelle Fields earlier this year.

If CNN wants to hire Donald Trump’s thuggish ex-goon, Corey Lewandowski, as a commentator, well, let’s just say that I would expect nothing less. But I’m genuinely appalled that CNN would bring him aboard knowing that Lewandowski is legally bound not to say what he’s really thinking.

CNN media reporter Brian Stelter, who’s doing a great job covering his employer’s ethical lapse, writes:

There are also swirling questions about whether Lewandowski is still bound to Trump somehow.

Like other Trump employees, he signed a non-disclosure agreement that ensures he will not share confidential information.

The agreement likely included a “non-disparagement clause,” impeding his ability to criticize Trump publicly.

I could almost live with the non-disclosure agreement. That’s not much different from a reporter’s protecting a confidential source. But a “non-disparagement clause”? Seriously? If Stelter has that right, then it means Lewandowski can’t offer his honest opinion on anything to do with Trump. When the next Trump outrage takes place and Lewandowski says it’s just peachy, we won’t have any idea whether he means it or not.

CNN should walk away from this colossal blunder, but of course it won’t.

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  1. “Why would I want to do anything other than what’s in the best interest of [Trump] and the campaign?” he said to CNN’s Dana Bash.

    • Dan Kennedy

      He’s a tool in the literal sense of the term. But there’s a big and important difference between won’t criticize Trump and can’t criticize Trump.

  2. Stan Franzeen

    Yet another new low for CNN. Maybe they should cut out the middle man and just hire Trump directly.

  3. Dan, I believe that Lewandowski’s entire non-disclosure agreement including the non-disparagement clause are legally unenforceable because such a contractual agreement would be “contrary to the public interest” under applicable state law. Lewandowski and CNN should consult Media Nation’s favorite attorney, Harvey Silverglate, to confirm that this is the case.

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