In an interview with Gabriel Sherman at New York Magazine, CNN President Jeff Zucker claimed that his network’s credibility is “higher than ever” at a time when it is under fire for partisan and dishonest reporting, adding that it would be a “mistake” for the incoming Trump administration to have an adversarial relationship with CNN.
Asked whether he was concerned about the network’s ongoing access to Donald Trump and the new administration, Zucker said it “doesn’t worry [him] that Donald Trump has not done an interview with the network 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,” he continued.
“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,” he continued.
Zucker’s comments come at a time when his network’s credibility is under intense scrutiny.
Last week, CNN was at the centre of a fake news controversy after it reported on an unverified document, originally published by BuzzFeed, suggesting that Donald Trump had deep ties to the Russian government.
At his first press conference since his election, Trump refused to take a question from a CNN reporter, saying that his network had been propagating “fake news.”
In the runup to November’s presidential election, information released by Wikileaks showed the network consistently attempting to help Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign.
Examples of this included the network asking senior Democrats to draft questions for interviews with Republican candidates, as well as evidence that DNC Chair Donna Brazile received questions prior to a Democratic primary debate, which she subsequently fed to Hillary Clinton.