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Fake News CNN Versus President Donald Trump: Network’s Top Executive Makes Veiled Threat

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Fake news outlet CNN’s top executive, Jeff Zucker, is threatening the incoming president of the United States Donald J. 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.”

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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.

“Acosta didn’t get to ask a question at last week’s press conference. The first question went to Fox News, and Breitbart got to ask a question. Are you concerned about getting access to Trump?” Sherman asked Zucker.

In his response, Zucker specifically noted that Trump’s “adversarial relationship” with a network seen in foreign capitals is “a mistake.”

“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.”

Zucker noted that he has known Trump for 15 years, and when he was at NBC he put The Apprentice on the air back in the early 2000s.

“It’s true I put him on television with The Apprentice in 2004,” Zucker said. “I’ve never run away from that. But in no way do I think that’s why he’s the president. You have to give the guy credit. He ran a campaign that worked.”

But, since he’s known Trump “for more than 15 years doesn’t mean” he gets “a pass.”

He added that he talks to Trump “Probably once a month?” but that “I haven’t talked to him in more than a month.”


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