A new piece on CNN from The New York Times has a lot of revelations.
Did you know Donald Trump was trying to give Fox News the exclusive rights to his inauguration? That’s what president Jeff Zucker claims. Look:
Shortly before Trump was sworn in, Zucker heard that he was considering giving Fox News exclusive rights to televise the inauguration and that Jared [Kushner] was in the process of brokering a deal with Rupert Murdoch, whom Kushner once courted as a mentor. Zucker called Trump. “Bottom line is that I said, ‘This is crazy,’” Zucker recalls. “You’re just going to give your inaugural coverage to your base of support? It makes no sense.”
Obviously, that’s not allowed. Trump doesn’t own the rights to the inauguration at all. Still, given Trump’s love for Fox News, it isn’t surprising.
The next tidbit that is especially noteworthy came when Zucker talked about his network’s pro-Trump pundits. If you read Mediaite often, you know their names, most notably Kayleigh McEnany and Jeffrey Lord.
Zucker described them as “characters in a drama.” (Recall that Zucker has come under fire for giving Trump so much free air time during the early days of the campaign process because of his entertainment value.)
Here’s the passage:
As Zucker sees it, his pro-Trump panelists are not just spokespeople for a worldview; they are “characters in a drama,” members of CNN’s extended ensemble cast. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, I can’t believe you have Jeffrey Lord or Kayleigh McEnany,’ but you know what?” Zucker told me with some satisfaction. “They know who Jeffrey Lord and Kayleigh McEnany are.”
In other parts of the piece, Zucker was quoted saying that he likes the president, so there’s another layer of complexity to add to the “CNN hates Trump” narrative that so many are trying to craft.
[image via screengrab]
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