CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker was profiled by the New York Times for a story that dives into his personal relationship with the president, and how his network has become the subject of Pres. Trump and his allies’ ire.
In addition to calling Zucker’s network as “fake news,” “fraud news,” “fake journalism,” and basically every insult under the sun, he posted a GIF from his Twitter account this weekend showing video of him body slamming a CNN logo as a head.
Trump supporters have also declared “a digital war of sorts” against CNN, which includes “gotcha” videos of network staffers (like James O’Keefe‘s Project Veritas), and threatening messages sent to anchors’ cellphones.
The network hasn’t necessarily helped itself in recent weeks, and the recent mishaps have been well-documented on this site. There’s the inaccurate report linking Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian investment fund, which caused three CNN journalists to leave the company; the inaccurate preview of former FBI director James Comey‘s testimony in front of the Senate Intel committee, and the departure of two network personalities, Kathy Griffin and Reza Aslan, for their publicized anti-Trump stances (some more extreme than others).
There’s also the #CNNBlackmail saga from yesterday.
Despite all of that, Zucker, who has a plaque above his desk reads “Punch Today in the Face,” instructs his staffers to not back down.
“My job is to remind everyone that they need to stay focused doing their job,” Mr. Zucker said on Wednesday, brushing off any suggestion that he was rattled. He added: “He’s trying to bully us, and we’re not going to let him intimidate us. You can’t lose your confidence and let that change the way you conduct yourselves.”
New Day co-anchor Chris Cuomo is happy to heed his boss’s advice, saying “I’m comfortable going to work in Thunderdome every day.”
Anchors including Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper have echoed similar sentiments during appearances on late night talk shows.
Will all of this seemingly negative attention take its toll on CNN staffers? Time will tell. But as of now, that doesn’t appear to be the case.