Nolte: CNN’s Pantheon of Creeps

CNN President Jeff Zucker (R) and Don Lemon attend the 10th Annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on December 11, 2016 in New York City.
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Disgraced former CNN chief Jeff Zucker is out, and the unsettling response from the remaining staff is the stuff of cults. For years, everyone at CNN, every anchor and reporter, covered up Zucker’s inappropriate relationship with Allison Gollust, a subordinate who quickly climbed the ladder until she was in the number two spot. Worse still, everyone at CNN participated in Zucker and Gollust’s misinformation campaign to make then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) president.

CNN under Zucker was, without question, a disturbing cult of personality and, like all cults, home to a pantheon of creeps.

We’ll start with creep numero uno…

  1. Jeff Zucker

For nine years, Zucker ran CNN into the ground: destroyed its reputation and credibility for at least a generation and drove it into a ratings ditch where its closest competition is Newsmax.

Oh, and as soon as he took over CNN, Zucker hired Allison Gollust and promoted her so high up the ladder, her name was floated as his replacement should he ever leave.

  1. Jeffrey Toobin

CNN’s chief legal analyst was caught jerking off and exposing himself during a Zoom meeting with his New Yorker colleagues and still has a job at CNN. The New Yorker fired him.

  1. Allison Gollust

I’m sure Jeff Zucker’s sidepiece rose to the top on merit alone and not her willingness to take a bald, middle-aged gnome into her bed.

  1. Chris Cuomo

Chris Cuomo, the dilettante little brother of Andrew Cuomo,  encouraged political violence, physically threatened his critics, grabbed a woman’s ass, sought to destroy the credibility of his brother’s dozen or so accusers, ran around New York while infected with COVID (when New York was Pandemic Ground Zero), lied to CNN viewers about remaining in his basement quarantine, staged a phony exit from that basement quarantine, and was repeatedly caught not wearing a mask after shaming others to wear masks.

  1. Don Lemon

Lemon is credibly accused of a grotesque sexual assault, of stuffing his hands down his pants and shoving his stink-filled fingers under a man’s nose.

  1. Michael Avenatti

CNN turned an obvious creep, a porn-star lawyer, into a national figure. If that wasn’t bad enough, CNN then tried to sell him as a presidential contender.

Well, to the surprise of no one, Avenatti’s fall was even more rapid than his rise. He is now a two-time convicted felon and credibly accused of physically assaulting a girlfriend.

  1. John Griffin

This former CNN producer faces multiple charges of sex-trafficking minors.

  1. Rick Saleeby

Jake Tapper’s former senior producer is under investigation for unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

  1. Andrew Cuomo

In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, the disgraced former governor enjoyed more hours of favorable, unfiltered air time than many of CNN’s own correspondents. Additionally, CNN covered up his scandals, demonized his critics, and blatantly sought to mythologize him into a 2020 presidential contender. Then, in August of 2021, it all came crashing down when Cuomo was forced to resign after an investigation by New York’s attorney general (and fellow Democrat) found that he sexually harassed 11 women.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNCFollow his Facebook Page here.

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