CNN Media Editor Oliver Darcy announced he was taking an abrupt leave of absence shortly after sparring with boss Chris Licht over the network’s decision to host a town hall event with Donald Trump last week, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Darcy, who took over the network’s Reliable Sources newsletter upon Brian Stelter’s axing from CNN last year, announced his sudden “vacation” via the newsletter issued on Wednesday evening.
“Hello there,” Darcy wrote. “Before we get started, a housekeeping note: I am heading off on a pre-planned vacation.”
“Yes, I know what you’re thinking,” he continued. “I’ve covered many ‘pre-planned’ vacations before. But I can assure you, this is *not* that. It’s my wife’s 30th birthday and we are headed off for a few days somewhere special.”
“And CNN aired it all. On and on it went. It felt like 2016 all over again,” he continued. “It was Trump’s unhinged social media feed brought to life on stage.”
“How Licht and other CNN executives address the criticism in the coming days and weeks will be crucial. Will they defend what transpired at Saint Anselm College? Or will they express some regret?”
After the newsletter was published last week, Licht reportedly called Darcy, Darcy’s editor, and other network executives into his office.
Licht reportedly told Darcy that his coverage of the Trump town hall event was “too emotional” and reiterated the network was trying to remain unbiased in its coverage.
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Network sources familiar with the meeting later claimed Darcy was left “visibly shaken” from the tense meeting with Licht and that the CNN CEO had “put the fear of God into” the Reliable Sources writer.
Meanwhile, amid concerns he might be axed from his role with the network and just before announcing his leave of absence, Darcy took to Twitter to reassure his audience he was still working for CNN.
“Still here and still going strong!” Darcy wrote just before midnight on Monday. “Here’s the latest edition of the [Reliable Sources] newsletter.”