With just 25 days left in the 2016 election cycle, CNN‘s CEO Jeff Zucker reflected on the network’s handling of Trump’s candidacy, admitting that the network has made one or two mistakes along the way.
Indeed, CNN and other corporate media networks have played a significant role in Trump’s success, giving Trump millions in free air time – saving him tons in commercial advertising costs. But despite the fact that most were to blame, some of the decision-making at CNN was particularly egregious.
Zucker admitted on Friday that looking back, he regrets the way that early on, CNN often aired “unfiltered” rallies for candidates, especially Trump. During the primary, it was not uncommon to see the network airing an entire Trump rally, warts and all, while ignoring rallies for other Republican candidates.
“We probably did put on too many of his campaign rallies in the early months.”
When asked why he did so, Zucker replied that they “never knew what he was going to say.” Essentially, they could depend on him to be newsworthy while the others were more subdued, and even boring.
Whether they were playing favorites or simply trying to follow the money, it was an abuse of their power and a disservice to viewers and prospective voters. Though Zucker expresses some regret over this decision, anytime you turn on CNN even now, you can usually see some sort of live feed of a Trump rally.
Though Zucker didn’t comment on it, there were also some key hiring decisions which seem to have only assisted the Trump campaign.
Despite his crimes against journalists and his clear pro-Trump devotion, CNN quickly hired former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. In the days after it was announced that he would be leaving the campaign, CNN quickly snatched him up and gave him a paycheck to sit on the network and shill.
CNN also has a whole host of pro-Trumpers who not only defend Trump (fine), but who lie and offend in their pursuit of their agenda. Even Jeffrey Lord, one of the most offensive Trump advocates, continues to make his appearances on the network, giving him an ample platform to spread his hate.