CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is evidently perplexed concerning what former CEO Chris Licht was trying to accomplish at the network before he was canned.
The leftist didn’t get the more balanced format that Licht was trying to establish at the struggling network. Licht was the third head honcho in less than two years who was shown the door as CNN attempted to recapture a semblance of relevance.
In an interview with New York Times reporter David Marchese, Cooper discussed his confusion over Licht’s vision. He was asked about Licht’s contention that CNN had alienated half the nation over its anti-Trump coverage during former boss Jeff Zucker’s tenure.
“I don’t know what Chris Licht’s analysis was. I don’t have much confidence that I actually know what he was thinking,” Cooper admitted. “Yeah, that’s a problem. I mean, I read things in the paper, but I’m not sure what the point of it all was.”
Anderson Cooper: “I don’t want to be unfair. I understood what the idea and the vision was… My sense from Chris was there was not a lot we needed to hash out because I’m not an opinion host.” That’s a thing at CNN: Opinion hosts claiming to be “anchors.” https://t.co/JK6KdPIO47
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) September 5, 2023
Zucker was evidently loved by many within CNN. Part of his apparent appeal was his bitter antagonism toward Trump. Licht tried to be more moderate and was hated for it among leftists at the network. He also wasn’t the glad-hander that Zucker was.
“So at no point did anybody communicate ‘this is what we’re doing now’ to one of the most high-profile anchors at CNN?” Marchese asked Cooper, trying to get a feel for their relationship.
“I met with Chris and had a general sense of what the concern was,” Cooper recounted. “I don’t want to be unfair. I understood what the idea and the vision was… My sense from Chris was there was not a lot we needed to hash out because I’m not an opinion host… With Chris, I had a meeting with him when he first started and touched base from time to time, but we didn’t have a ton of communications.”
Licht only lasted 13 months and they were full of turmoil with firings, layoffs, and the shuffling of the deck at the network. He canned Brian Stelter, John Harwood, and Jeffrey Toobin. All for good reasons, especially Toobin who was caught previously masturbating on a Zoom call. Licht tried to bring Republicans on air to give their take on politics and launched a disastrous show featuring Don Lemon, who was later fired in disgrace.
We would hear the same BS from the Lemons and Stelters of the world, this insistence that they’re just serious journalists seeking truth and holding the powerful accountable. Why these folks just don’t own being opinion-makers who support one side is vexing since it’s so obvious.
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) September 5, 2023
What doomed Licht though was the unpardonable sin of hosting a Trump town hall in May in front of a raucous GOP audience in New Hampshire. His leftist overlords just simply would not tolerate that.
Trump’s appearance horrified liberals who slammed Licht for daring to let him speak. Cooper also excoriated both his own audience and Trump’s supporters in an on-air editorial. He strongly defended CNN giving a voice to Trump while also condemning what he called his “disturbing” lies and rhetoric.
“The man you were so disturbed to see and hear from last night, that man is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president,” Cooper told everyone. “That man you were so upset to hear from last night, he may be president of the United States in less than two years. And that audience that upset you? That’s a sampling of about half the country. They are your family members, your neighbors, and they are voting. And many said they’re voting for him.”
(Video Credit: CNN)
“Asked about the town hall, Cooper demurred, saying there were legitimate questions about how to cover Trump while noting he had defended it from the perspective of hearing from someone who could very well be in the White House in two years. But he said now he wasn’t sure if he’d welcome Trump, who he’s interviewed before, onto his program,” Fox News reported.
“I don’t know at this point. I’m not sure. I personally would not have chosen to do a town hall,” Cooper told Marchese.
CNN has tapped a new CEO as Mark Thompson, formerly of the BBC and New York Times, will assume the leadership role.
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