A group of older white men, some in police uniforms, speak during a press conference from a New York City street.

CNN’s New President Made His First Hire: A Top NYPD Cop Best Known for Denying Post-9/11 Racist Practices

CNN’s new president Chris Licht has made his first hire after first making some concerning firings. The first person Licht is bringing on in his quest to turn the network into Fox News Lite is John Miller, who will be their new Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst. This is, hands down, on every level, a terrible decision.

Recommended Videos

CNN touted the hiring, saying Miller “will add his unique perspective as a seasoned journalist and decorated law enforcement official to the network’s coverage of crime and terrorism.” Except let’s look at what that “unique perspective” has gotten us in the past.

Earlier this year, Miller—then the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism—denied the police department engaged in discriminatory surveillance practices targeting Muslim Americans after 9/11.

Miller made the comments at a recent eight-hour-long city council hearing on public safety. Shahana Hanif, NYC’s first and only Muslim city council member, asked Miller to apologize for the NYPD’s “discriminatory, fruitless, and damaging program” of surveillance. Instead, Miller said that surveillance was just a “perception.”

“Perception allowed to linger long enough becomes reality. I know from my own conversation with Muslim members of the community and Muslim community leaders, that there are people… who will believe forever… [that] there were spies in their mosques who are trying to entrap people,” he said, per Middle East Eye. “There is no evidence that that occurred based on every objective study that’s been done.”

That’s simply not true. There is tons of evidence and there has been for many years. Muslim leaders met with New York Mayor Eric Adams and some called for Miller’s firing. We’ll never know whether or not Miller was ever going to be held accountable for his lies because he managed to land that cushy CNN job instead.

As the network said in its announcement of Miller’s hiring, he has past experience in both journalism and law enforcement. While some may surely see that as a benefit, Brian Stelter—recently fired from CNN in Licht’s attempt to clean house of anyone Fox News might find distasteful—once noted that it could also be seen as “a source of great concern: the so-called ‘revolving door’ between the people who cover the news and the people who are being covered.”

Licht has stated that his goal is to make CNN a place that doesn’t alienate conservative viewers and Republican lawmakers. Hiring a media-hungry pro-racism ultra-cop to come analyze the news for them sure is a step in that direction.

(image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.