Obviously worried that his network won't get a seat at the "big boy" table after Jim Acosta's recent on-air spat with President-elect Trump, CNN President Jeff Zucker defended his network's "credibility" in a recent interview with New York Magazine. In a blatant attempt to deflect attention away from his network's careless, if not outright malicious, decision to promote the now infamous 35-page "intelligence report" compiled by a UK intelligence officer with some rather unflattering "fake news" about Trump and his alleged connections to Russia, Zucker said that Trump's attacks against his network were just an attempt to "delegitimize journalism" while asserting that CNN's "credibility is higher than ever." Per The Hill:
CNN President Jeff Zucker says President-elect Donald Trump's attacks on his network are an attempt to "delegitimize journalism,” adding that CNN's "credibility is higher than ever.”
"It’s just unfortunate that the most powerful person in the world is trying to delegitimize journalism and an organization that plays such a vital role in our democracy," Zucker told New York Magazine in an interview Wednesday.
"I think he’s entitled to his opinion, but it’s — to use one of his favorite words — sad."
Zucker reflected on Trump’s press conference last week, when the president-elect refused to let CNN reporter Jim Acosta ask a question and accuse him of “fake news.”
"I think the era of access journalism as we’ve known it is over," said Zucker, who took over at CNN in 2013.
"It doesn’t worry me that Donald Trump hasn’t done an interview with CNN in eight months. I think our credibility is higher than ever, and our viewership is higher than ever, and our reporting is as strong as ever. … Continuing to have an adversarial relationship with that network is a mistake."
Ironically, Zucker's comments come just a week after Rasmussen conducted a poll on the credibility of the media finding that, at least in the opinion of their viewers, CNN is, in fact, the least trusted cable news network with only 33% of respondents saying they trust their political news. Here is what we noted last week in a post entitled "CNN Is Now Least Trusted News Network Among Viewers":
A recent poll of cable news network viewers found that CNN’s regular audience is far more skeptical of the political news they receive than Fox News fans.
In the poll published Wednesday by Rasmussen Reports, 1,000 likely voters were asked to describe their media viewing habits. Seventy-five percent said they watch at least some form of cable news each week, with 42 percent saying they most frequently watch Fox News, 35 percent usually choosing CNN, and 19 percent favoring MSNBC.
An even 50 percent of frequent Fox News viewers agreed with a followup question, “Do you trust the political news you are getting?” By comparison, 43 percent of frequent MSNBC viewers and just 33 percent of those who mostly watch CNN said they trust their political news.
Of course, CNN's decision to spread the "fake news", originally reported by BuzzFeed, resulted in the following epic exchange between CNN's Senior White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta, and President elect Trump at last week's press conference...
...which then triggered the following mini-tweetstorm from Trump who said that CNN was "in a total meltdown" while predicting that their "credibility will soon be gone!"
.@CNN is in a total meltdown with their FAKE NEWS because their ratings are tanking since election and their credibility will soon be gone!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2017
We had a great News Conference at Trump Tower today. A couple of FAKE NEWS organizations were there but the people truly get what's going on— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2017
And with Trump confirming that he won't remove the press from the West Wing of the White House but rather will choose who gets access to the limited space, one has to wonder whether the "Clinton News Network" will make the cut.