The relationship between CNN and Donald Trump hasn’t exactly been a smooth one.
Last week, during Trump’s first press conference since the election, things got tense when CNN’s Jim Acosta started badgering the President-elect.
The following exchange immediately went viral.
Trump was not happy that CNN ran with a debunked and unsubstantiated BuzzFeed smear piece and he has been railing against unfair coverage from the network for over a year.
It appears the relationship isn’t getting better anytime soon. The head of CNN issued the following veiled threat to Trump.
“It’s just unfortunate that the most powerful person in the world is trying to delegitimize journalism and an organization that plays such a vital role in our democracy,” Zucker, CNN’s president, said in an interview with New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, when asked about how Trump denounced CNN as “fake news” at his press conference last week in New York City. “I think he’s entitled to his opinion, but it’s — to use one of his favorite words — sad.”
Later in the interview, when asked by Sherman about how Trump shut down CNN’s Jim Acosta telling him his network was “fake news” and instead took questions from real news outlets like Breitbart News Network and Fox News, Zucker specifically threatened Trump in a veiled way that CNN will work to hurt the incoming president’s reputation on the world stage.
“I think the era of access journalism as we’ve known it is over,” Zucker replied to Sherman. “It doesn’t worry me that Donald Trump hasn’t done an interview with CNN in eight months. I think our credibility is higher than ever, and our viewership is higher than ever, and our reporting is as strong as ever. One of the things I think this administration hasn’t figured out yet is that there’s only one television network that is seen in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang, Baghdad, Tehran, and Damascus — and that’s CNN. The perception of Donald Trump in capitals around the world is shaped, in many ways, by CNN. Continuing to have an adversarial relationship with that network is a mistake.”
It is a little strange that Zucker is doubling down on his network’s credibility when the ratings clearly don’t back up his position.
The major networks don’t seem to understand that Trump doesn’t need them to control the narrative. In fact, that was clearly on display during the 2016 election cycle. Social media and internet news sites reach more people than CNN does on a given night and Trump was able to utilize that fact to his advantage.
We will have to wait and see how CNN behaves during the Trump era but it doesn’t look like they are planning on making many changes.
H/T Allen B. West