War on Media: Trump Tweets About Firing ‘Enemy of the People’ Jeff Zucker and Andy Lack


President Donald Trump has started his day on social media by attacking two cable news outlets known for their consistent critical coverage of the White House.  Trump tweets talking trash on negative coverage has become standard operating procedure under this administration, but tweets discussing (even suggesting!) the firing of presidents of CNN and MSNBC is a new bar that Trump had to surpass.

Trump opened with another attack on cable news outlet CNN, but his latest salvo takes a personal attack at CNN President Jeff Zucker. Seemingly upset with what he sees as the  “hatred and extreme bias” shown by CNN’s coverage, President Trump suggested that parent company AT&T (which recently acquired Time Warner) fire Zucker to save “credibility.”

Trump tweeted:

Not finished, Trump trained his focus on NBC News and its president Andy Lack:

And in case his Twitter followers didn’t get the gist of what he had just tweeted, he stuck the landing with:

There is no denying that much of MSNBC and CNN’s primetime programming has taken a critical look at the White House, but a long-standing journalistic tradition is speaking truth to power. There have been rumors surrounding Lack’s dismissal, however, it’s worth noting that MSNBC is enjoying terrific ratings under the Trump administration. In fact, just last week MSNBC was the highest rated cable news network in primetime, and Morning Joe enjoyed its greatest ratings week ever.

Trump’s animus towards CNN has existed for some time, but his recent pique is almost certainly focused on recent reports in which Michael Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis admitted that he has not been truthful as an anonymous source in a CNN report about Trump knowing about the Trump Tower meeting. CNN has stood by their report citing other sources that have confirmed.

The President of the United States is arguably the most powerful position in the world, and for the commander-in-chief to use his power to suggest the firing of Zucker and Lack because of negative coverage is a stunning turn of events that should not be dismissed nor accepted as a “new normal.”

Are the powers-that-be at AT&T and Comcast (parent companies at CNN and NBC News respectively) likely to take President Trump’s negative rhetoric seriously? Most certainly not, and nor should anyone. But therein lies a much bigger problem than the negative coverage of the Trump administration: we have a sitting president that no one takes seriously.

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