Jeff Zucker, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, Glenn Thrush, Les Moonves, etc. White men in media who shaped sexist coverage of @HillaryClinton in 2016 — as she ran against a sexual predator. All subsequently connected to sexual misconduct scandals. Not a coincidence.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) February 4, 2022
Jeff Zucker, “as much as any person in the world,” rehabilitated an overleveraged, serially bankrupt, third-tier New York real-estate developer into a worldwide celebrity and political icon. Another good one from @Sulliview. https://t.co/vqteCuyH4F
— Benjamin Freed (@brfreed) February 3, 2022
… The through line? Nothing nobler than TV ratings, which always were Zucker’s guiding light, his be-all and end-all and, ultimately, his fatal flaw.
Two decades ago, as an NBC executive searching for a way to goose the floundering network’s popularity, he gave the green light to a reality show, “The Apprentice,” featuring a flashy mogul whose soon-to-be-famous tagline was “You’re fired.” Trump had a checkered history of bankruptcies, racism and failed real estate projects, but his confident bluster made him a natural on television…
Zucker created Trump the TV sensation, which was the necessary foundation for Trump the candidate. Years later, after moving from NBC to CNN, Zucker recollected very well that Trump was a self-proclaimed “ratings machine” — a rare instance of Trumpian truth-telling.
CNN infamously took his campaign speeches live, sometimes going so far as to broadcast images of an empty lectern with embarrassing chyrons such as “Breaking News: Standing By for Trump to Speak.” You can’t buy that kind of media…
… I’ll note that CNN recently has done important work, including specials about the Jan. 6 insurrection and a new “Democracy in Peril” show in the 9 p.m. slot recently occupied by Chris Cuomo.
But why is American democracy in peril? Some portion of the blame — not a tiny portion — belongs to the network executive who couldn’t resist the “ratings machine.”
how will our democracy survive now that that guy who single-handedly made donald trump a thing just got fired for smashing his subordinate
what is wrong with these people https://t.co/LqxKwCPQva
— World Famous Art Thief (@CalmSporting) February 4, 2022
if my boss had overseen a fairly steep decline in company performance but never had anything bad to say about me or the job i was doing, i would also "raise concerns" about him being forced to resign. https://t.co/gsEoAVa5bc
— GOLIKEHELLMACHINE (@golikehellmachi) February 4, 2022
How damaging is the dirt that CNN's probe uncovered? So bad, Jeff Zucker resigned before he could be fired "and is not poised to receive any severance," @TatianaSiegel27 reports. https://t.co/cv9SUr7q8y
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) February 3, 2022
So Jeff Zucker's alleged paramour at CNN was Allison Gollust, CNN's executive vice president.
Her job before that? Gov. Andrew Cuomo's comms director.
This article suggests their relationship is why CNN protected the Cuomos for so long.https://t.co/I7T1Ryp4SM
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 2, 2022
UPDATE: "[T]he timeline on Jeff Zucker and Allison Gollust’s coupledom is not only off by more than two decades, say sources who have worked with the pair — the CNN power couple also repeatedly lied about their relationship to their corporate bosses"https://t.co/E5qLCdSYHf
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 3, 2022
is it any wonder this network treated trump’s bonanza of ethical dumpster fires not as an actual threat to the country but as a series of entertaining reality show how-will-he-wiggle-through-this-jam game show challenges
— kilgore trout, cryptopolice chief (@KT_So_It_Goes) February 3, 2022
also gotta point out what a hypocritical game cnn has made the last several years of sparring with fox news as if they have some sort of moral high ground when the only distinction is their leadership was sleeping with subordinates consensually and not by career extortion
— kilgore trout, cryptopolice chief (@KT_So_It_Goes) February 4, 2022