CNN President Jeff Zucker declared on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s comments about the channel being fake news are a “badge of honor” and that aggressive coverage of the new administration has boosted employee morale.
As Zucker was talking over a lunch with reporters at Porter House in the Time Warner Center in New York, Trump was hosting a fiery press conference featuring a memorable back-and-forth with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who tried to ask a question about the president’s attacks on CNN.
“I'm changing it from ‘fake news,’ to ‘very fake news,’” Trump quipped in response.
But both Trump and Acosta seemed to be enjoying the jousting, pointing to one of the odder patterns to emerge from the early days of Trump’s administration: the president engaging in all-out war with the media and both sides seeming energized by it — and, perhaps, benefiting from it.
When Trump made a quip about CNN’s low ratings, Acosta piped up that they actually weren’t bad. And, indeed, CNN’s ratings have been on the rise during the period when the White House has been shunning the network.
“They wear those insults as a badge of honor, because it means they are doing their jobs,” Zucker said, referring to the network’s reporters and employees. “I would say that morale is incredibly high ... They are not being intimidated, they are not backing down, they know they have my full support and it is a very exciting time, frankly, to be a journalist at CNN.”
Added Zucker, “If there is any issue, it is because they are exhausted. The pace has been nonstop, and it has not let up.”Read More...
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