Via America’s Lawyer: Jeff Zucker resigns from CNN reportedly over his relationship with the network’s vice president, but a new probe investigates his close ties with former NY governor Andrew Cuomo. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Jeff Zucker is blaming his resignation from CNN on an affair, but it looks like his network’s effort to cover up for Andrew Cuomo were partly to blame. And then there’s the fact that he’s destroyed, completely destroyed CNN. What’s your take on it? I’ve got Farron Cousins with me here to talk about it. What do you think, Farron?

Farron Cousins:                  I, I think there’s a lot of reasons that Zucker resigned, none of which actually have to do anything with this affair that according to people who’ve worked with Zucker for decades, this has basically been going on since 1997. Okay. This was kind of an open secret with CNN, with NBC when he worked there, everybody knew that Zucker and this woman having a consensual relationship.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And, and sure.

Mike Papantonio:             While she was married with two kids, by the way.

Farron Cousins:                  Right, right. And sure, yeah, it violates company guidelines.

Mike Papantonio:             There, there’s that, yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Blah, blah, blah. But, but really what we’re learning from this investigation is just how much Zucker went to bat for Andrew Cuomo, acting essentially as an unpaid advisor, giving him talking points throughout this entire scandal.

Mike Papantonio:             How did he go about it?

Farron Cousins:                  They were, both him and the woman Allison Gollust, who used to work for Cuomo actually.

Mike Papantonio:             Right, right.

Farron Cousins:                  They would call him up. They made sure that they had exclusivity. You cannot go on any other network, you know, during the pandemic, I should say. So you’re gonna come with us. We’re gonna hype you up as the governor doing everything right. We’re gonna talk about your feuds with Trump. We’re gonna make sure you’re the guy and that was all before the scandal broke. And then at that point, they, they called him up on a regular basis. They gave him the talking points. They said, this is what you do. Obviously, Chris Cuomo at network at the time doing the exact same thing.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, don’t you add to that, intimidating the woman who is trying to bring the, the charges?

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             I mean, intimidating her, making her life difficult. You know, but really when you drill down to it, Warner has got to be thrilled to be rid of this guy.

Farron Cousins:                  I would be.

Mike Papantonio:             He has destroyed the network. I remember the day, I mean, you remember Ted, Ted Turner, what a great idea, 24/7 news, but it was news and they broke, and you could turn it on and you didn’t have to listen to all the creepy stuff coming out of this little troll’s head, which is Zucker told everybody, this is what we’re gonna say today. Whether the reporters agreed with him or not. And you’d have guys, who’s it Stellar who looks just like him. He looks like his twin.

Farron Cousins:                  I think so.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Stellar. I, I think that’s his name. You know, they come out and say, oh, what an injustice. The injustice, there is no injustice. This guy should have been fired five years ago because he’s an incompetent boob. And you watch they’ll move him, the media is so, they’re so incestuous. They’ll move him to another position even though this financial disaster that he brought into CNN. The last time I saw, I think their viewership was about 500,000 in prime time. Have you seen numbers different than that?

Farron Cousins:                  No, I haven’t. And, and see, that is another point too here. Why was this man allowed to just stay at the network when they weren’t doing well?

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  When you’re at the top of a company and your company is failing, your company is consistently losing to all of your competition. Why are you still there? I mean.

Mike Papantonio:             Well.

Farron Cousins:                  You would think at some point, somebody along the chain of command would’ve said, wait a minute, we are doing really bad. Why are we putting all our faith in this guy? We need someone else to come in, maybe give it a, MSNBC tried recently, you know, they brought in a new president a year or so ago, I guess.

Mike Papantonio:             Right, right.

Farron Cousins:                  Because that’s what you do when things aren’t going well.

Mike Papantonio:             When, when you see it’s a train wreck and that this little freak is driving the train, you say, you know, Zucker, outta here.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.