CNN reporter Chris Cillizza was criticized by his industry colleagues over the weekend for a post where he compared the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders to “Game of Thrones” characters. Detractors said that the tongue-in-cheek tone was not appropriate given the seriousness of the subject matters.
“Chris, this kind of thing is another reason why we are in the state we are in in American politics. Treating politics like a game and reality show gives us reality show leaders. And news media become game show hosts. Be better,” said Matthew Dowd, ABC News’ chief political analyst.
“+1,000,” Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin added.
In his original piece — which was published before Sunday night’s most episode — Cillizza made a case for who of Westeros’ most notable reminded us of our own politicians.
In his estimation, Cillizza felt Joe Biden made a suitable Cersei Lannister because “both are the de facto incumbents, relying on their inherent knowledge of the system,” Sen. Kamala Harris, meanwhile, was more of a Daenerys Targaryen because “both have lived up to the hype,” which surrounds them.
Cillizza compared Bernie Sanders to Maester Aemon Targaryen. “Aemon predicted much of what was to come in the battle between ice and fire — sort of like how the Vermont senator foresaw the direction his party was headed on issues like health care,” he wrote.
“Also: Aemon and Bernie are both very old,” Cillizza added.
Reps for CNN and Cillizza did not immediately respond to request for comment and it’s unclear the Sunday evening’s episode which featured Daenerys Targaryen’s fiery destruction of King’s Landing would have changed any of his analysis.
You can read what Cillizza’s critics said below:
Chris, this kind of thing is another reason why we are in the state we are in in American politics. Treating politics like a game and reality show gives us reality show leaders. And news media become game show hosts. Be better.
– Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) May 13, 2019
I know you won’t believe me because it seems impossible but today @CillizzaCNN wrote the worst thing he’s ever written, even worse than his “in defense of ivanka trump” bullshit https://t.co/EymIuJIjrz
— Matt RATIO HOWARD SCHULTZ ON EVERY TWEET Negrin (@MattNegrin) May 12, 2019
When journalism, which is under attack, also shoots itself in the metaphorical foot, by just sucking: https://t.co/vwcSOWEno8
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) May 13, 2019
And he doesn't understand why people mock his work. https://t.co/GucIBsAl0A
— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) May 13, 2019
Ser Dingus of House Turner https://t.co/CXBOpuSufh
— Daniel Bentley (@DJBentley) May 13, 2019
Surely Cillizza would be better suited remediating wetlands as part of a robust federal jobs program https://t.co/k0sh1Ifpl5
— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff) May 12, 2019
not even GoT fans:
— Tanya Chen (@Tanya_Chen) May 13, 2019
— Deena Shanker (@deenashanker) May 13, 2019