- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

CNN’s president, Jeff Zucker, responded to the fiasco surrounding his network this week with a jab President Donald Trump’s way, asserting it’s the White House chief who’s the aggressor in this tiff — that the news organization is the victim.

Zucker’s like the playground bully, caught mid-punch, mid-push, now standing before the principal, trying to weasel out of blame.

“My job is to remind everyone that they need to stay focused doing their job,” Zucker said to The New York Times. “[Trump‘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.”

Decoded meaning: CNN’s not going to change their witch-hunting ways.

“Television is his preferred medium,” Zucker went on. “And he knows our viewers can be swayed because they’re not watching Fox or MSNBC — networks with an ideological bent in prime time.”

Did he just take potshots at his competitors? Seems a guy on a sinking boat might not want to tick off the nearby ships in the sea — but then again, that’s just a thought.

Zucker, apparently, thinks he can go it alone and win.

The whole tiff is over a video clip that Trump retweeted showing him wrestling CNN to the ground. The media, as the media is wont to do, went overboard with the criticism of Trump’s retweet, pretending like he was calling for arms against members of the media.

CNN then went on a hunt to identify the creator of this video, watchdogging like it’s not watchdogged in years. And once identified, the guy was then issued this rather cold, calculating message from CNN: Behave, or we’ll name you publicly.

The hashtag #CNNBlackmail quickly gathered steam on Twitter. And rightly so. A media giant going after a private citizen for making a satire video seems a bit, well, Gestapo tactic. But instead of backtracking and apologizing, CNN seems to have dug in for battle.

Hmm. Interesting strategy.

And it’s one that showcases Zucker as somewhat of a pinhead. How is Trump to blame for CNN’s threat against a private citizen? He’s not, of course. And Zucker’s irrational labeling of Trump as the bully in this fight only highlights his skewed thinking, as well as the absolute do-or-die partisanship that has marked his network’s approach to all-things-Trump since the November elections.

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