CNN head Jeff Zucker didn’t mince words when talking to the media recently. Zucker said that Fox News is a front for the GOP and that the Republican Party is being run out of Fox.
Jeff Zucker took the opportunity presented by the upcoming release of Richard Sherman’s biography of Roger Ailes to unload on Fox News, “Clearly all I can say at this point, without having read it, is from what I understand it confirms, basically, what we’ve known all along, which is that the Republican Party is being run out of News Corp headquarters, masquerading as a cable channel.”
Zucker hit Ailes for doing an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on the same week that the book is coming out, “[Ailes] doesn’t do an interview in a long time and then does it the week that the book comes out? He’s trying to deflect attention. Clearly there’s probably no other network in American television that is covering news in such a substantial and serious way than CNN.”
Zucker’s statement seems like a Captain Obvious moment, but consider that one of the reasons why Fox News is able to get away with as much as it does is that the mainstream media largely takes FNC’s side and treats them like a real news organization.
Back in 2010, the media flipped out when President Obama spoke the truth about Fox News in a Rolling Stone interview, “Look, as president, I swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that Constitution is a free press. We’ve got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It’s a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it’s been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it’s that Fox is very successful.”
After that interview, mainstream media television networks ran to the defense of Fox News. Mainstream outlets that are desperate to follow the money making model of Fox have more times than not defended the network as a real outlet for journalism, so Zucker’s comments are a big deal.
CNN has a multitude of problems. One of which is a bias towards Republicans that makes the network much less of a straight shooter than Zucker claims. I think Al Jazeera America would disagree with Zucker’s statement that no other American network is covering the news as substantially as CNN. Plus it is ironic that Zucker would talk about substance at CNN after he brought back the completely empty Crossfire, and has loaded up his weekend primetime lineup with non-news programming.
If more network heads would speak out against Fox News, the truth might set journalism free. The mainstream media, including CNN, still foolishly believe that America is a conservative country and their path to huge profits is to copy Fox. Until this changes, the sorry pro-Republican state of corporate media won’t be transformed anytime soon.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association