Ballabon story gets big play


We posted a piece about GOP political and communications consultant, and Orthodox Jew, Jeff Ballabon taking a job with CBS News on Thursday, sort of amused that a Republican would be going to work for a news organization that has often been a whipping boy of conservatives over the last couple decades. Four days later, at about 5:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, Ballabon’s hire has blown up into the featured story on the liberal Huffington Post Web site.

The piece by Ira Forman notes a newspaper article from September, in which Ballabon, asked whether Obama is "dangerous," replied that the then-candidate was "incredibly dangerous" because he wanted to talk to Iran. Forman also recalls his own debate with Ballabon years ago in which he said the Republican called all Democrats bad and Republicans good.

Ballabon wouldn’t tell Greg Sargent whether he still thinks Obama is dangerous, but did say that he won’t have any impact on editorial content at CBS. That’s what he told us too — as senior vice president of communications, he won’t be reporting the news, he’ll be talking to members of the media about CBS News and its operations, as well as doing publicity and planning media strategy. He does have plenty of experience in such a position, having held similar jobs with Primedia and Court TV.

Gawker says people should probably calm down a little: "So, hey, he’s a real big jerk! But come on, he’s going to head their media relations and publicity office, he’s not reading the news on-air."

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