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Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R-AZ) left a speechless CNN reporter in her wake after demanding that any interview she gave be aired on the network’s now-defunct streaming service CNN+.
Video tweeted by Lake showed the candidate responding after she was approached by a woman who identified herself as a CNN reporter and asked whether the candidate had a moment to take a few questions.
“I’ll do an interview with you… as long as it airs on CNN+, does that still exist?”
— Kari Lake for AZ Governor (@KariLake) June 23, 2022
“Hi, Kari, nice to see you. Kyung Lah from CNN,” the reporter introduced herself as she approached Lake outside an event.
“You don’t have a mask on anymore, what’s going on?” Lake asked, feigning surprise.
“Well, we’re outside,” Lah replied with a smile, and the two shook hands. “Do you have a minute to chat?”
“We’re six feet apart,” Lake interjected, and Lah asked again, “Do you have a minute to chat?”
“Um, I’ll do an interview,” Lake agreed, and then added her condition: “As long as it airs on CNN+. Does that still exist?”
“Ah, no,” Lah replied.
Lake went on to mock CNN as several people around her laughed, adding, “I didn’t think so, because the people don’t like what you guys are peddling, which is propaganda. Thank you.”
“So —” Lah appeared to be at a loss for words as Lake and her team turned and walked away.
CNN’s fledgling streaming service lasted only one month, and although some critics have blamed that solely on the programming, some insiders have suggested that the timing of the venture may have had far more to do with sealing its fate. CNN+ launched just ahead of a planned merger with Warner Bros/Discovery, and according to reports, the new leadership team had a different vision for a broader streaming service in the future.
In the weeks since the merger, however, new network chief Chris Licht has pushed the cable news giant’s news coverage in a different direction as well. Anchors have been reportedly encouraged to move away from snarky and politically-charged chyrons and to bring in more guests with opposing viewpoints. Licht has also pushed his employees to stop using the term “the Big Lie” when referring to former President Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen.”