CNN President Calls Fox News ‘State-Run TV, Pure Propaganda Machine’

Jeff Zucker, President of CNN, is interviewed during a Financial Times Future of News event March 22, 2018 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
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March 22, 2018 3:33 p.m.

CNN President Jeff Zucker criticized the journalistic integrity of rival Fox News at a media conference Thursday.

Zucker called Fox “state-run TV” and a “pure propaganda machine,” according to The Hollywood Reporter and journalists covering the event.

There are a handful of good journalists there, but I think they are lost in what is a complete propaganda machine,” he reportedly told the audience at the Future of News conference, hosted by the Financial Times. “The idea that it’s a news channel, I think, is really not the case at all.”

Zucker also reportedly said Fox News “has nothing on” Russia’s state run program TASS Russian News Agency. He added that every cable news channel is “doing well, including Fox News.”

Spokespeople for Fox News and CNN did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment. Fox News reportedly declined an offer to attend the event, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

Zucker has received criticism for his network’s coverage of Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, when CNN would air Trump stump speeches at length.

In a New York Times magazine profile last year, CNN was referred to as the first “major news organization” to give President Donald Trump a platform in the early days of the Republican primaries, a move that was reportedly regularly pushed by Zucker personally.

Adweek reported last week that Fox News has ranked No. 1 in total day viewers for the past 10 weeks and was first in prime time viewership for the past nine weeks. MSNBC came in second place for both categories last week. CNN’s parent company Turner Network ranked No. 2 last week in the key 25 to 54-year-old ratings category — which is the demographic used by networks to sell advertisements — above both Fox News and MSNBC, who came in eighth and ninth place, respectively.    

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