CNN White House correspondent John Harwood is leaving the network, marking the latest liberal figure there to leave in the Chris Licht era.
Harwood, who has a long history of openly bashing Republicans despite being billed as a journalist, announced the news himself on Friday.
“Today’s my last day at CNN,” he wrote on Twitter. “Proud of the work… looking forward to figuring out what’s next.”
Puck’s Dylan Byers reported Harwood had two years remaining on his contract.
Harwood’s sudden exit comes days after Licht, who was named CEO earlier this year, dumped Brian Stelter in what is thought to be a plan to make the network less polarizing, as it famously drifted to the left during the Trump administration. Stelter had just renewed his contract with CNN the year before.
In addition to Stelter being shown the door, CNN has been undergoing a makeover for the past year.
Since last summer, top-rated anchor Chris Cuomo was fired, then-president Jeff Zucker was forced to resign, and its heavily promoted streaming service CNN+ was shut down after less than a month following a long-planned merger that put CNN under the control of the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery.
Longtime legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is gone — while he announced he was departing of his own volition, he was effectively pushed out, according to sources — and now Harwood is out, too.
Licht, who was chosen by Warner Bros. Discovery to replace Zucker, intends to “tone down spectacle” at the network, a source close to the high-powered executive told Fox News Digital earlier this year.
The network shakeup comes after Liberty Media chairman John Malone, who sat on the Discovery Communications Inc. board of directors prior to the merger and is now an influential Warner Bros. Discovery board member, appeared on CNBC last November and made comments about the future of CNN.
Malone declared CNN should revert to nonpartisan journalism once the network was under the Discovery umbrella, which became official on April 11.
While at CNBC, Harwood drew sharp criticism of bias from Republicans for his moderation of a GOP primary debate in 2015 over his loaded questions and acerbic remarks at the candidates. He has done little to lose that reputation since joining CNN in 2020, often tweeting fawning praise of the Biden administration while roasting Republicans.
Back in 2018, NewsBusters contributing writer P.J. Gladnick wrote that Harwood has “a well-known antipathy towards Republicans and President Donald Trump.”
He also appeared to have a cozy relationship with longtime Clinton confidant John Podesta according to emails released by WikiLeaks. In one 2015 message, Harwood asked Podesta for advice on what to ask then-GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush in an upcoming interview. He expressed pride in another for his handling of the CNBC GOP debate, and he also gushed that then-President Obama should feel validation over long believing the Republican Party was going “off the rails.”
The now-former CNN correspondent once came under fire for claiming journalists have a hard time because the Republican Party is “fundamentally broken” but it’s difficult for mainstream media to report on it.
During his stint at CNN, Harwood — who often takes on the role of a liberal pundit despite his correspondent title — frequently made news for his partisan views.
Earlier this year, Harwood was mocked for claiming there was “zero evidence” that President Biden is connected to his son’s alleged corruption. He acknowledged that Hunter Biden could be a problem for the administration, but went out of his way to claim the president didn’t do “anything wrong” despite the actions of his son.
“It seems pretty clear that Hunter Biden was trading on his father’s name to make a lot of money, he’s had a difficult life, but until someone makes a nexus between what Hunter Biden has done and official activities of Vice President Biden or President Biden, it’s a not-pretty picture, but it’s not really of much public import in terms of the policy of the United States or the administration of the government,” Harwood said on “New Day.”
“There is zero evidence that Vice President Biden, or President Biden, has done anything wrong in connection with what Hunter Biden has done,” Harwood added as anchor Brianna Keilar declared it was “an important distinction.”
In May, he was flamed by critics for minimizing the effects of inflation on American families and claiming they had not “been ‘crushed’ badly enough” to stop them from spending money.
Harwood recently fumed over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calling retiring National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci a “little elf” during a press conference.
“No better example of the Republican Party’s degradation than its demagogic attacks on a brilliant public servant who has spent decades working to fight ignorance and save lives with medical science,” Harwood wrote on Twitter.
In his final day at CNN, Harwood on Friday gushed over President Biden’s Thursday speech about threats to democracy that his core point was “true.” Notably, he alluded to the ideal that journalists should not take sides.
“The core point he made in that political speech about a threat to democracy is true,” Harwood said. “That’s something that’s not easy for us, as journalists, to say. We’re brought up to believe there’s two different political parties with different points of view, and we don’t take sides in honest disagreements between them. But that’s not what we’re talking about. These are not honest disagreements. The Republican Party right now is led by a dishonest demagogue.”
Stelter, Harwood and Toobin are now gone, and the network’s long-struggling morning show will be replaced later this year. Licht still has to find a 9 p.m. ET replacement for Cuomo and has told staffers that more changes are looming.
Maybe it was time for this old fart be put out to pasture. Coming unglued about Fauci being called a elf really doesn’t say much for him. If I tell him I call Fauci a rat faced bastard my do him in for good.