CNN has severed ties with Democratic National Committee (DNC) interim chair Donna Brazile thanks to emails recently released by WikiLeaks. The emails reveal Brazile obtaining questions before a CNN debate and forwarding them to the Clinton campaign. The Clinton campaign, rather than ignoring her attempt to help them cheat, thanked Brazile for her service.
CNN released a statement to the Observer from spokesperson Lauren Pratapas:
“On October 14, CNN accepted Donna Brazile’s resignation as a CNN contributor. (Her deal had previously been suspended in July when she became the interim head of the DNC.) CNN never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate. We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.”
According to CNN, Brazile acted on her own accord, violating their trust as well as the neutrality she was binded to per the DNC Charter. Brazile—previously the vice chair—is now the second DNC chair exposed to have colluded with the Clinton campaign, against Sen. Bernie Sanders. This is despite the principles of democracy and the DNC charter stipulating that they act impartial to ensure a fair and balanced primary election.
In a 2014 interview with The Washington Post, Brazile took pride in telling a reporter she would not remain neutral to help Hillary Clinton win in the primaries. “Technically, I’m neutral, but neutrality is something that gets you in trouble because, you ever notice someone who stands on the white line in the middle of the road? They get run over. And I don’t want to get run over. So I’m not neutral. I have to tell people that I’m neutral, but I’m ready for Hillary.”
In the John Podesta emails released so far, Brazile tips off the Clinton campaign to two debate questions and offers to provide more. She also forwarded information on outreach efforts implemented by the Sanders campaign, and Clinton staff specifically cited Brazile as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton.
The last DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and several other DNC staffers resigned when they were implicated in the WikiLeaks release of 20,000 DNC emails in July. Brazile should follow suit. A major political party should not be led by someone who has no regard for the rules put in place to preserve and protect our democracy. Brazile’s actions have further disenfranchised millions of voters who supported Sanders in the primary and were silenced by Democratic leadership.
Moving forward, it would be best for the Democratic Party—especially as a sign of good faith to Sanders supporters already resentful toward party leaders—to replace Brazile with a figure who can bridge the gap between Clinton and Sanders supporters. If CNN is willing to sever ties with Brazile because she cheated, and the DNC isn’t, what does that say about the DNC and its loyalty to serving and expanding democracy?