The right erupted in collective laughter on Wednesday as CNN announced it was hiring Adam Kinzinger as a political commentator.
To many, the news came as no surprise after Kinzinger spent two years auditioning for the job with his vocally anti-Trump political rhetoric.
Adam Kinzinger joins CNN
The Republican, who left his job in Congress this week, was formally welcomed to CNN during a segment of Erin Burnett Outfront. Host Erin Burnett said CNN was “thrilled to have you here on board.”
“It’s great to be on the team, by the way,” Kinzinger said. “Thank you. I’m excited.”
CNN also shared the news in a tweet, writing, “Join us in welcoming Adam Kinzinger to CNN as a Senior Political Commentator. Welcome to CNN, Adam!”
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) January 5, 2023
The utterly predictable career move comes after Kinzinger spent two years grandstanding about Trump and the January 6th “insurrection” on cable news and on the January 6th committee, where he served as the token opposition along with former Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney.
Kinzinger, an obscure figure prior to his evolution into an in-demand, anti-Trump talking head, became known for his melodramatic performances, famously breaking down in tears while praising Capitol Police during a January 6th hearing.
“Democracies are not defined by our bad days. We’re defined by how we come back from bad day,” he said, choking up.
As he rose to notoriety, Kinzinger eagerly adopted the shibboleths of the liberal left, showering “anti-vaxxers” and “conspiracy theorists” on the right with disdain.
The evolution of a talking head
By the time he left Congress this week, there was little to distinguish Kinzinger from liberal talking heads at CNN and MSNBC, whose ranks he now joins.
Days before his hiring by CNN, Kinzinger, who opted not to seek re-election, sat down with the network for a friendly interview on his legacy as a lawmaker, Trump, and the future of “our democracy.”
Revealing much about how his mind works, Kinzinger referred to himself in the third person and said that “everybody” has fantasies about being “the one person that can do the right thing in a crowd.”
“I feel honored to have been at this moment in history and to have done the right thing,” he said.