by Eric Hananoki/Media Matters
Over the past weekend, E.D. Hill anchored CNN'sSaturday and Sunday morning news hours, covering topics like President Obama and the Republican contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Hill may seem like an odd choice to anchor a straight news program on CNN. Hill has been identified by CNN as a "conservative analyst" andpreviously headlined a Republican fundraiser. She is perhaps best known for her time on Fox News, where she once asked if Obama and his wife were engaging in "a terrorist fist jab."
Hill made the infamous remark in June 2008, when she introduced a segment by asking: "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently. We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says." Fox News canceled Hill's show the following week and later announced that Hill's contract would not be renewed. Hill also co-hosted Bill O'Reilly's late radio show.
The "terrorist fist jab" remark drew criticism from some in the media. It also received play on CNN. During the August 19, 2010, edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, John Roberts noted the false belief that Obama is a Muslim is "on television news, the better outlets merely covering the controversy, the not-so-better ones stoking it." Roberts then ran video of Hill's remarks, among others.
Hill headlined a fundraiser for the Nashua Republican City Committee's September 12, 2009, "Steak Out." Hill was a guest speaker along with then-candidates Kelly Ayotte, Ovide Lamontagne, and Charlie Bass.
Media Matters asked CNN for clarification about Hill's role at CNN; whether Hill's Republican fundraiser should be disclosed; and if CNN believes she can be an impartial anchor. A spokesperson for CNN replied through email: "ED was filling in for the holiday schedule. We utilized others to fill in for our anchors during the same period."