CNN boss Jeff Zucker believes it is “silly” to claim that the network’s reporters and anchors have been “left-wing advocates” while covering the shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the subsequent calls for more gun control.
“That criticism is silly,” Zucker told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday when asked about American Conservative Union Chair Matt Schlapp’s remarks about how “CNN has decided to take this path where they are kind of left-wing advocates.”
The network has been criticized for staging a WWE-like town hall event last week in which the network did its best to portray gun-control advocates as heroes and defenders of the second amendment as villains.
Moderator Jake Tapper protected Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) from having to answer a tough question about the National Rifle Association (NRA) while questioners smeared Republicans who took campaign donations from the NRA as “child murderers” who accepted “blood money.” The crowd also jeered a rape survivor who is a strong supporter of the second amendment while CNN let Broward Sheriff Scott Israel grandstand without taking any responsibility for how local authorities and institutions failed the victims.
Zucker, though, argued that the network did not favor one side over the other. He also said it was “not CNN’s problem” that Florida Governor Rick Scott and President Donald Trump did not show up to an event that they knew would be used to embarrass and shame them.
“The fact is we were there, we presented both sides. People who want to criticize are looking to just criticize before they even think about it,” Zucker continued. He added that last week’s town hall “was a really important milestone in this conversation because for one of the few times, people who have different points of view were together.”
“And the problem is: all too often, whether it’s on blogs or websites or partisan television networks, people are just talking to themselves,” the CNN chief added. “And nothing will ever change if we don’t start talking to one another.”
The network’s anchors have routinely allowed gun-control advocates to push their agenda after the Florida tragedy with hardly any constructive pushback while defenders of the second amendment have been met with significance resistance.
CNN, which has enthusiastically promoted more gun control while falsely claiming to be “objective” instead of admitting its left-wing point of view like MSNBC, has also been criticized for using Parkland survivors as props to push gun control immediately after the attack. On Sunday, CNN even brought on Dan Rather on Reliable Sources to say he was “in awe” of the Parkland students organizing marches for gun control. Rather actually compared the students’ activism to the 1960s civil rights marchers.
After conceding that NRA supporters may boycott companies that severed ties with the organization after pressure from social-justice Internet mobs, CNN also enthusiastically told its audience on Monday that companies are now taking a stand on gun control in addition to “climate change,” “immigration,” and “gay rights.” The network claimed “that’s actually good for business,” citing a “recent poll” that found “the most important thing to consumers is to buy from companies that do the right thing.”
The Hollywood Reporter even suggested that the Hollywood activism that CNN’s town hall and coverage sparked may not be helping the network’s image at all:
Perhaps not helping CNN’s image, the town hall also sparked renewed activism among liberals pushing for gun control, especially in Hollywood. Parks and Recreation creator Michael Schur and showrunner Shonda Rhimes joined the chorus of anti-NRA sentiment on Twitter, and NBC’s Blacklist star Megan Boone declared that her character no longer will carry assault weapons.