OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Embattled cable news outlet CNN continues to deal with controversy, according to a report on Wednesday involving one of the network’s primary hosts. The reports noted that he has been removed from the air and placed on leave so he can deal with a “personal situation.”
According to Mediate, Jim Sciutto has been given time to deal with the aftermath of a “serious fall” he suffered in Amsterdam earlier this year as he was returning from war-torn Ukraine. Sciutto, who is CNN’s chief national security correspondent, came back through the Netherlands with his producer even though the network had offered him a direct flight home out of Poland.
Per the Daily Beast’s Confider column: [Sciutto] was the subject of a CNN internal investigation earlier this year, Confider has learned after he had a serious fall in Amsterdam en route home from a reporting trip to Ukraine. Despite colleagues taking direct flights home from Poland, Sciutto and his producer made a stopover in the Dutch capital where the accident occurred. We hear Sciutto has since recovered from the incident but has been directed by CNN to address a “personal situation.” Sciutto and CNN did not respond to requests for comment.
On Wednesday, the UK’s Daily Mail reported that Scuitto was placed on “personal leave.” It’s not clear what the host is dealing with, however, at this point. He co-anchors “CNN Newsroom” with Poppy Harlow. He has been with CNN since 2013. Prior to that, he worked for ABC News and also served as chief of staff and senior advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke.
CNN has been dealing with controversies among staff members and various personnel now for the past year. But most recently, the network was hit with a massive lawsuit from former President Donald Trump, who has alleged that CNN purposely damaged his reputation and falsely maligned him.
CNN’s Jim Sciutto — one of the Russia collusion lie’s most pernicious pushers — on leave after ‘serious fall’, internal investigation: report https://t.co/rV5KyDZPIF via @nypost
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 6, 2022
Hey @oliverdarcy. Is this going to be covered in your “Reliable Sources” newsletter today?
Jim Sciutto told address ‘personal situation’ by CNN bosses https://t.co/w36Gknfo45
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) October 5, 2022
The suit, filed on Monday, seeks hundreds of millions and alleges that the network is actively working against him and a potential 2024 campaign. Specifically, according to a court filing, Trump is seeking $75,000 in compensatory damages and $475 million in punitive damages, as well as court costs.
“A lawsuit was filed today against CNN, the once prestigious news channel that has devolved into a purveyor of disinformation, defamation, and Fake News, at a level which the American Public, and indeed the World, will not even believe is possible,” he said in an announcement posted to his Truth Social platform.
“For years I have watched this take place, often in disbelief, but the time has finally come to hold CNN responsible and legally accountable for their willful deception and defamatory statements made about me,” he added.
A statement accompanying the post indicated that Trump also plans to file similar lawsuits against a number of other media outlets, though they were not listed. The suit also accuses the network of doing all it can to undermine and malign Trump for the sole purpose of harming him.
“President Donald J. Trump, has been a long-time critic of the defendant, Cable News Network, Inc. (‘CNN’) — not because CNN does a bad job of reporting the news, but because CNN seeks to create the news,” the lawsuit said.
“Beyond simply highlighting any negative information about the plaintiff and ignoring all positive information about him, CNN has sought to use its massive influence — purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source — to defame the plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically, culminating in CNN claiming credit for ‘[getting] Trump out’ in the 2020 presidential election,” the lawsuit added.
“CNN’s campaign of dissuasion in the form of libel and slander against the plaintiff has only escalated in recent months as CNN fears the plaintiff will run for president in 2024,” it said. The suit also calls CNN’s coverage of Trump “part of its concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the Left” with the use of “scandalous, false and defamatory labels” which amounts to a “reckless disregard for the truth.”