Shoud pundits who've signed non-disparagement clauses be banned by the networks?

A CNN host noted that the new CNN contributor she was talking to is working for trump and has signed a non-disparagement clause.

Should all people who’ve signed relevant non-disparagement clauses be banned by the networks from being tv pundits? What is the point of having them on if they are legally prohibited from saying anything negative about the person they are talking about? This includes everyone who has done or is doing any work for the Trump campaign, all of whom apparently signed non-disparagement contracts prohibiting them from criticizing Trump, Trump’s extended family or any Trump business interests. And, to a very small extent, this explains some of the crazy from Kellyanne and others. She legally can’t say anything bad about Trump or she has to pay a fine.


At the minimum, there should be full disclosure. And maybe a little sign to that effect constantly on the screen.


Non-disparagment clauses shouldn’t be enforceable or even legal to ask someone to sign. To me it kind of feels like asking someone to amputate a finger before being offered a job.


All employees should be emoloyees of the office, not the person. If anything, they should not be able to disparage the office, regardless of the person serving. Of course in that case, the only thing this guy would legally be allowed to say would be: “Trump is an embarrassment to the office of the president. Impeach. Impeach. Impeach. Impeach. Impeach…” etc, etc…

I get what you’re saying, but the underlying problem is that people see and networks present pundits as journalists, which they absolutely are not. At best they’re opinionated people given expensive megaphones and at worst they’re spokes-models.

There’s a lot to be said for the ethical duty to clearly and publicly disclose these agreements however, and networks which fail to do so should be excoriated for it.


At least the Yakuza and Triads wait until you’ve done fucked up before that part.

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It does seem that many of them are on just because they will contribute to the spectacle that is TV “news” these days. No need to write scripts or do journalism when you can just sic pundits on each other on live television - but that favors Trump and nonsense since just making shit up is easier and faster than disproving lies with facts.

For me, though, there is some sort of line drawn if the pundit is actually legally prohibited from disparagement. Even if they are a paid liar for hire, there might be some rare times when they would criticize their cash cow, but if doing so would not only cost them their salary, but also an extra million dollar fine on top of that, then their chance of doing so approaches zero.

I think such non-disparagement clauses should be considered unconscionable and be prohibited in contracts by law.


Forget disclosure. That just means a mumbled disclaimer the first time they get on the air. And there will the the inevitable spin cycle to launder it. There will be pious mouthings about how it isn’t the job of journalists to “disparage” but to report.

If you’ve signed a contract saying you can’t do the job thoroughly and honestly you shouldn’t have the job.


Fox “News” is effectively Trump’s personal propaganda channel, no non-disparagement clauses needed.

I personally don’t care if people legally agree not to publicly disparage someone, but I do care if it’s not abundantly clear and frankly I don’t think networks should be hiring those people in the first place as the credibility of anyone who enters into such an agreement is inextricably compromised. IMO it’s as good as announcing that they’re a shill, and they’d be a shill with or without the agreement.


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