CNN president Jeff Zucker ripped into Fox News over the weekend, claiming the leading cable news network is a "propaganda network" for President Donald Trump and defended the Democratic National Committee's decision to bar Fox News from hosting Democratic presidential primary debates.
What did Zucker say?
During a Q&A at the South by Southwest festival in Texas on Saturday, Zucker downplayed the significance of the DNC's decision, condemning Fox News in the process.
"I think the consternation about this is a little misplaced. They don't have to give one to CNN, they don't have to give one to NBC. They have no obligation to give one to Fox," he said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Zucker went on to bash Fox News as "a propaganda network" that maintains a "completely symbiotic" relationship with the White House.
"I think the question should be, is Fox state-run TV or is the White House state-run government by Fox TV?" Zucker said, the Daily Beast reported.
Later, responding to Fox News' response to the DNC's decision in which Fox executives defended their journalists' integrity, Zucker claimed Fox News "has done tremendous damage to this country."
"They chose to work at Fox and they don't get to hide behind the fact that they're excellent journalists or anchors. The fact is they work at a place that has done tremendous damage to this country," Zucker said.
What's the background?
The DNC announced last week it would not allow Fox News to host a debate during the upcoming primary season. DNC chairman Tom Perez said that due to recent reporting in the New Yorker — much of which has been debunked — Fox News "is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates."
In response, Fox News senior vice president Bill Sammon asked the DNC to reconsider its decision.
"We hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism, from moderating a Democratic presidential debate. They're the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters," Sammon said in a statement.