Today’s quote – and you have to give it a lot of points for amusement value if nothing else – comes to us from CNN President Jeff Zucker.
Here, from his interview published by Vanity Fair, is Mr. Zucker’s his explanation of why CNN spends so much of its time covering President Trump:
“People say all the time, ‘Oh, I don’t want to talk about Trump, I’ve had too much Trump. And yet at the end of the day, all they want to do is talk about Trump.
“We’ve seen that anytime you break away from the Trump story and cover other events in this era, the audience goes away. So we know that, right now, Donald Trump dominates.”
It’s hard to know where to begin. So, in no particular order:
-Why does Jeff Zucker think it’s a surprise that a cable news network would extensively cover the President of the United States? Did CNN not extensively cover President Obama? President Bush? Why is he telling us his network covers Mr. Trump a lot, as if he’s letting us in on something we didn’t expect?
-Why didn’t Mr. Zucker address the fact that virtually all Trump coverage at CNN is negative – unceasingly so, day and night, 24/7? Is he unaware of what his own network broadcasts?
-And my favorite: what, exactly does Mr. Zucker mean by saying that if CNN covers other news “the audience goes away”? Earth to Zucker: if we’re talking about CNN, the audience already DID go away.
Here, to bring this point home clearly, are the latest cable news ratings (from Wednesday night):
FOXNEWS HANNITY 3.327,000
FOXNEWS TUCKER 3,149,000
MSNBC MADDOW 3,087,000
FOXNEWS INGRAHAM 2,767,000
FOXNEWS BAIER 2,456,000
MSNBC O’DONNELL 2,305,000
MSNBC HAYES 1,865,000
MSNBC HARDBALL 1,722,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 1,340,000
CNN CUOMO 1,282,000
CNN COOPER 1,272,000
-Note to Mr. Zucker: when your highest-rated prime time show is so much lower than every prime time show for both of the other two networks that neither of them would think twice about canceling it, you should not be worried about losing your audience. You should be wondering how to retrieve your audience.
I award Jeff Zucker Quote Of The Day “honors” for, however unintentionally, making a statement so absurd on its face that it got a spontaneous, sarcastic laugh out of me (maybe “amused snort” is more accurate).
And please, Mr. Zucker; if you ever locate that elusive audience you’re talking about, let us know where you found it…and what coverage of Trump you think might get it back.