CNN has been taking a pounding from President Trump recently, and the president of the media giant, Jeff Zucker, has admitted that he’s concerned that Trump might be able to sway their viewers.
In an interview with the New York Times published Wednesday evening, Zucker, 52, said he hasn’t been getting a lot of sleep lately, after President Trump posted a comical video on Twitter last weekend that portrayed himself at a pro-wrestling event, beating a person portrayed as CNN.
The NY Times article alleges that Trump’s “attacks have spawned a cottage industry of Trump supporters who have declared a digital war of sorts against CNN,” and claims it has created a “foxhole-like mentality inside CNN’s offices, where security measures have been tightened and some hosts have considered abandoning their social media accounts because of abuse.”
In addition to the forced resignation of three CNN journalists, the network had to cut ties with two hosts, Kathy Griffin and Reza Aslan, after their online attacks against Trump.
Zucker told the NY Times on Wednesday that he is reminding his staff to “stay focused on doing their job,” and added, “He’s trying to bully us, and we’re not going to let him intimidate us. You can’t lose your confidence and let that change the way you conduct yourselves.”
However, in spite of stating he won’t be intimidated, Zucker alleged that “threats against CNN employees” has spiked, causing “us to have to take steps that you wouldn’t think would be necessary because of the actions of the president of the United States.”
Zucker, a former chief executive at NBC who had hired Trump to host “The Apprentice” at NBC, said CNN’s viewership among adults ages 25-54 is the highest in the network’s history – and he fears Trump could have an influence on them.
“Television is his preferred medium… and he knows our viewers can be swayed because they’re not watching Fox or MSNBC,” Zucker said.
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