CNN president Jeff Zucker ripped "state-run" Fox News during a Thursday industry conference for being a "propaganda machine."
How professional. What did he say?
TheWrap reported that Zucker's comments came at Thursday's FT Future of News conference in New York City.
"[Fox News] is really state-run TV," he said, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter. "It is a pure propaganda machine and I think does incredible disservice to this country."
Zucker went on to admit that he noticed a "shocking" change after the departure of the late former CEO Roger Ailes, whose 2016 resignation came as a result of sexual misconduct allegations. Ailes died in 2017.
He noted that while there are still some "good journalists" at the network, he said that it's hard to hear them through the "propaganda."
"There are a handful of good journalists there, but I think they are lost in what is a complete propaganda machine," he added.
Zucker added that the network "has nothing on" Russian government-run TASS Russian News Agency.
"I’ll get attacked all night tonight and tomorrow night for saying this but whatever, it’s the truth," he said, according to TheWrap.
"The idea that it's a news channel, I think, is really not the case at all," he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
According to TheWrap, Zucker also addressed "fake news" — which he says is a real phenomenon.
"There is fake news," he said. "Fake News is a phenomenon and it does exist … It’s come to light especially on the Facebook. ... What [Trump] means is, news that he doesn’t like.That’s OK. We’re just reporting the facts, reporting the news."
President Donald Trump has, in the past, indicated — if not outright said — that he was responsible for Zucker's employment at CNN.
Zucker reportedly addressed this in his discussion, noting "that's not true," and went on to tell the story of how he reportedly did get the job at the network.
According to Deadline:
[Zucker explained] that Philip I. Kent, then CEO of Turner Broadcasting, was casting a wide net to find someone to head CNN, and Zucker and Kent had already been in discussions when Kent found himself sitting next to Trump at a dinner in New York.
Trump "said Jeff’s a good guy," Zucker said. "In Trump’s mind that means he got me the job. I’ll let everyone decide for themselves."