Fox News host Tucker Carlson isn’t buying the official explanation that CNN’s president Jeff Zucker recently resigned because of his secret romantic relationship with a subordinate.
The pugnacious Fox host has a different theory, which he explained Wednesday on his program “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Carlson on Zucker: ‘New management wanted him out of CNN for other reasons, including bad ratings’
Carlson’s theory is that Zucker’s supposed indiscretion, which multiple ‘reporters’ have said was well known throughout the news industry, was just window dressing.
Carlson said, “You probably heard CNN President, Jeff Zucker, got fired this morning. In a statement, Zucker said he has been dating a colleague, didn’t disclose it, and when his bosses found out, they made him leave.”
“That’s not true,” Carlson said.
“Everyone in the TV business already knew about Zucker’s relationship with the head of CNN’s Marketing Department,” he continued. “Every executive in television has known about it for years, it was definitely not a secret. So Jeff Zucker did not get canned for his sex life.”
Carlson got specific about one of those reasons.
“New management wanted him out of CNN for other reasons, including bad ratings, and maybe others that we’ll find out later.”
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“So the relationship was just a pretext for what you saw,” Carlson insisted. “But as usual with CNN, you’ve got to wade through a lot of lies to get to what actually happened.”
The Zucker-had-to-resign-because-he-didn’t-disclose-his-relationship-with-another-female-executive tale is at a Smollett level in insulting one’s intelligence. (a) Already the worst-kept secret in the industry and (B) If that’s the rule, why does Allison Gollust still have a job?
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) February 3, 2022
Tucker: ‘CNN is poison’
Carlson slammed Zucker for how he ran CNN.
“As for who replaces Jeff Zucker, we hope it’s someone better,” Carlson said. “CNN is poison, we want that channel to improve. With Zucker gone, it’s at least theoretically possible it could happen.”
“We didn’t like Jeff Zucker, we said that very clearly, for a long time,” the Fox News host made clear. “We attacked his programming decisions, we slammed his political agenda, we called him names, and we meant every word of it.”
But then Tucker’s argument took a turn. Take a look and see if you agree with what he had to say:
There are an awful lot of contemptible leaders in Corporate America, maybe most of them, but only a certain kind of CEO ever gets fired. It’s not the weak ones, the guys who do what they’re told, issue the cringy statements and let the H.R. Department run everything, those people tend to keep their jobs until they retire. People like that just want to get it over with and cash out.
More than at any time in our history. America is run by people like that. It’s only the strong who are punished. Strong leaders tend to be abrasive. They’re arrogant. Sometimes they’re what we now call abusive. They ignore convention, they say outrageous things in public and private.
So Jeff Zucker, whatever else we have said about him and meant, Jeff Zucker tried to do something new. We hated what he did. We did not share his vision. We found it repugnant and destructive, but at least Jeff Zucker had a vision. Too few still do.