CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza was the subject of ridicule over his “analysis” that paired the Democratic candidates running for president in 2020 to characters from the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones.”
“What else… has lots of characters and drama with an uncertain ending? (Amazing segue, right???) Why, the 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign, of course!” Cillizza wrote, later adding a disclaimer that many of the “Game of Thrones” characters are “murderers” and “horrible people,” uring readers that they “shouldn’t take this literally.”
Cillizza matched former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke with Jaime Lannister (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), arguing that both were “born to do this” and struggled with “deeper internal conflict about who they are and whether they are doing the right thing.” He then matched former Vice President Joe Biden with “Game of Thrones” villainess Cersei Lannister (played by Lena Headey), insisting they were both “de facto incumbents” and that they “know their enemies are coming for them.”
He paired California Sen. Kamala Harris with the Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) because they both “have lived up to the hype” but pointed to the potential fear that they “represent too much change for a staid world.” South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was paired with Jon Snow (played by Kit Harington) since they were previously “unheralded and ignored” but are now “the axis on which the story spins.”
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Other notable matchups include Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Arya Stark (played by Maisie Williams), California Rep. Eric Swalwell and Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish (played by Aidan Gillen), Massachsetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Brienne of Tarth (played by Gwendoline Christie), and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Maester Aemon Targaryen (played by Peter Vaughan, who passed away in 2016).
The analysis, which was published Sunday hours before the penultimate episode of “Game of Thrones” aired that night, was ratio’d on Twitter, meaning it received more replies than likes and retweets.
Many ripped Cillizza’s piece, suggesting it is proof that journalism is “dying.”
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Journalist Yashar Ali blasted Cillizza, suggesting the political reporter is being overpaid for writing “drivel.”
“Here’s why his stuff gets views: they put his stuff on the front page which is in the top 30 websites in US.. Anything will get views. They give him push alerts, so every CNN mobile user is alerted when his stuff posts,” Ali tweeted. “Don’t put his pieces on the front page of CNN, don’t give him a push alert for a month, see where his numbers go. He won’t do well.”