The president of CNN took a swipe at the left-wing media organisations such as Vice and BuzzFeed by claiming that they are “not legitimate news organisations,” but instead “native advertising shops.”
CNN’s Jeff Zucker, who has been president of the company since 2013, told Variety magazine in an interview “I don’t think Vice and BuzzFeed are legitimate news organizations” whilst cracking a “mischievous smile.”
“They are native advertising shops. We crush both of them. They are not even in our same class,” he continued.
BuzzFeed editor in chief Ben Smith hit back at the comments and accused CNN of giving Republican nominee Donald Trump favourable coverage, something Trump rigorously denies.
“The most important test of any news organization this year is its coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign. I’m happy to put our tough, fair coverage up against CNN’s decision to turn its platform over to Jeff’s friend Donald Trump,” Smith said.
CNN will soon be the least trusted name in news if they continue to be the press shop for Hillary Clinton.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2016
Zucker’s comments come at a time when the left-wing media bubble could be bursting, as organisations such as Vice, Buzzfeed and Gawker are all facing financial difficulties.
However CNN, under the leadership of Zucker, has had considerable success recently, with its largest share of prime time TV viewing in 15 years.
Meanwhile John Martin, CEO of CNN parent Turner Broadcasting, praised Zucker for turning the network around. “CNN is going to have a record year in terms of revenues and profits,” he said.