CNN anchor Dana Bash had the most memorable quote in the aftermath of the first presidential debate of the 2020 election. While her fellow anchor Jake Tapper wrapped up his thoughts about the candidates’ performances grimly but professionally, calling it a “hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a trainwreck” and “a disgrace,” Bash took a different, more frank route. “That was a sh*tshow,” Bash said. “We’re on cable, we can say that. Apologies for being maybe a little bit crude, but that is really the phrase that I’m getting from people on both sides of the aisle.”
Bash was certainly not alone in her assessment. The New Yorker called it the worst debate in American history, while Joe Scarborough of NBC said via Twitter that the debate was a “disgrace” and that “there is no reason, not one, that Joe Biden should participate in another debate.” Still, it was Dana Bash’s comment, one echoed by former Fox News and NBC reporter Megyn Kelly, that was remembered for its sheer relatability. But while Bash may have won the post-debate commentary contest, what has she been doing before that?
Dana Bash has worked for CNN for over two decades
Dana Bash went to work for CNN basically right after she graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. According to her profile on CNN.com, Bash was an editor and producer before appearing on-screen covering the presidential primaries in 2000, including traveling to early primaries like New Hampshire and Iowa with eventual nominee Al Gore. In 2002, she received her first Dirksen Award, presented for outstanding reporting regarding the U.S. Congress, for breaking a story about government interceptions of Al Qaeda transmissions on September 10, 2001. She served as CNN’s White House correspondent during former President George W. Bush’s tenure as president.
In 2006, Bash became a congressional correspondent for CNN, eventually becoming the chief congressional correspondent for the network, a position she continues to hold. She earned a second Dirksen Award in 2010 for reporting on Senatorial “holds” and congressional earmarks. Other highlights of her tenure at CNN include reporting on Hurricane Katrina, the capture of Saddam Hussein, and several interviews with John McCain during his run for president in 2008.
Dana Bash joined the family business
Dana Bash has achieved immense success during her tenure with CNN, and her knack for journalism might have a little something to do with her upbringing. According to The New York Times, Bash’s father, Stuart Schwartz, was the senior broadcast producer for Prime Time Live in 1998, an ABC News program based in New York City. The paper also described her mother as a “lecturer and author on Jewish issues.”
It wasn’t only Bash’s parents who had similar career paths, however. The reporter has been married twice, first to a lawyer named Jeremy Bash, whose last name she kept professionally. The couple divorced in 2007, and Bash remarried in 2008 to fellow CNN anchor John King. According to the Washington Examiner, both reporters predominantly covered Republicans during the 2008 election, and they were married on Cape Cod. Although the two did split in 2012, per The Washington Post, they had a son, Jonah Frank King in 2011. If history is any teacher, we can expect Jonah King on CNN in about 15 years.
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