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‘I think it’s morphed into conspiracy TV… I don’t think it’s a journalistic organization.’
That’s CNN boss Jeff Zucker firing a shot across the airwaves at rival Fox News during an interview with Brian Stelter in New York on Thursday.
Sean Hannity and his top-rated show, among others on the network, are to blame for turning Fox into “state-run TV,” Zucker said.
Watch the clip:
Zucker went on to praise former Fox News host Shepard Smith as a “great journalist” who should give him a call. “I understand he’s not able to take any jobs for the foreseeable future,” he said. “When he’s available, he’s somebody who is very talented and I’d be very open to talking to him.”
Smith left Fox earlier this month amid reports of clashes with other high-profile personalities as well as backlash from President Donald Trump.
“Are there a handful of great journalists in that org? Sure,” Zucker said. “Are there are one or two really good anchors at that organization? Sure. But that doesn’t make it a news organization, that doesn’t make it a journalism endeavor.”
This is not a one-sided attack, of course. Hannity, for example, often refers to CNN as a “fake news” network suffering from TDS (“Trump Derangement Syndrome”), and once called Stelter “a little pipsqueak,” to name just a few of his barbs.