Emerald Robinson is unsympathetic, looking on as CNN craters.
here have been so many scandals recently at America’s least favorite cable news network CNN that it’s hard to remember them all — they’ve multiplied like the ex-husbands of the Kardashian clan. Who can keep up with all the jokes now? Just take the most recent one: the forced resignation of CNN’s president Jeff Zucker. The first scandal is that not one, but two women were interested in being romantically involved with Jeff Zucker — who could be described, generously, as the least attractive man in the Eastern Seaboard. (I’ve been unable to confirm whether both women were legally blind when they met Zucker.)
The second scandal is that the woman who was romantically linked with Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, was not only romantically involved with Zucker for a decade but that the pair were personally involved in PR crisis management for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. This included “calling him to do news segments with his brother Chris Cuomo and even coaching him on what to say during his infamous COVID briefings” according to the New York Post.
Why was the top executive of a cable news network coaching an elected official? Perhaps because his girlfriend had previously been the communications director for Governor Cuomo? Perhaps because Governor Cuomo’s brother hosted a nightly news program for CNN? Perhaps because CNN has always operated as the cable news wing of the Democrat Party under Zucker’s direction? In terms of ethical violations at CNN, we are spoiled for choice.
Let’s not forget the scale of the scandal that Zucker and Gollust were aiding and abetting Andrew Cuomo to escape: he had ordered that COVID patients should be placed into New York nursing homes. (There’s absolutely no reason to do that unless you want to spread the disease to the elderly.) Then Cuomo and his team intentionally withheld nursing home death data during the Trump Administration. In other words, Zucker and Gollust helped Governor Cuomo’s cover-up of COVID-19 nursing home deaths while ostensibly employed by CNN to inform the public of such cover-ups. It’s hard to imagine a more serious ethical breach at a media outlet.
What was the reaction, you ask, of CNN’s staff to Jeff Zucker’s resignation and the serious ethical breaches behind it? They all got together for a staff meeting and defended Zucker of course. (We know this because most of them leaked details to other media outlets like the New York Times.) This might be surprising to anyone who thought people like Brian Stelter and Jake Tapper and Don Lemon were actually journalists and not just a motley crew of misfits that were hired by Zucker over the years. Did anyone really trust these people to give them information anymore? Since CNN has lost 90% of its audience, the answer to that question is a resounding no.