CNN president Jeff Zucker slammed Fox News this week, calling it a “state-run TV” network. In his interview with “The New Yorker Radio Hour,” Zucker said CNN was the only network broadcasting “the truth.”
“Obviously, Fox News is, uh…” He then paused for more than 11 seconds and continued, “So, look, there’s three cable news networks. Certainly, in primetime and in the morning, Fox is state-run TV and is extolling the line out of the White House.”
Zucker went on to say that MSNBC “has become the opposition” and that CNN “is seeking the truth.”
When asked if he thought the other networks were telling the truth, Zucker responded, “Well, I think that there are clear agendas at work at the other cable news networks, depending on their political points of view.”
CNN’s president went on to say that he does not like the phrase “fake news” and thinks it should be avoided. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump continues to use the phrase, and has specifically called CNN out several times claiming they broadcast “fake news.”
“I think it’s an unfortunate phrase,” Zucker said. “I think we should all try to avoid it. I think it’s also dangerous and unfortunate that the President of the United States and the people around him would try and denigrate an institution like the media, which is one of the bedrocks of this country.”
According to Zucker, although news outlets that report false information exist, he believes Trump uses “fake news” because it’s “news he doesn’t like — and there is a difference between news that is not real and news that he doesn’t like.”
Later in the interview, Zucker said that if he could go back and change his coverage during the election, he would have chosen not to air Trump’s campaign rallies unedited and in full length.
“I think, in hindsight, if we could go back, we probably wouldn’t do all those,” Zucker said. “I think we probably did do too many of them. I do not think that’s why he’s President of the United States. I do not believe that’s why he won the Republican nomination.”
He added that he never thought Trump had a chance at winning.
“There’s no way I or anyone else, back in 2004, when ‘The Apprentice’ went on the air, would have predicted that Donald Trump would end up as President of the United States,” Zucker said.
He believes the reason for Trump’s victory is due to the fact that people simply wanted major change in Washington.
“The people who voted for Donald Trump, the people who support Donald Trump, they understand he was a businessman,” Zucker said. “He did things, he said things — they may not be what we’re used to. They’re OK with it. They’re OK with it because they’re completely not OK with Washington. And all they wanted was somebody to go to Washington and actually just create havoc.”
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