For the longest time, CNN was obsessed with taking potshots at conservative rival Fox News. With CNN’s president Jeff Zucker now out of the picture, that trend has dropped off considerably.
Mentions of Fox News during CNN broadcasts have dropped off precipitously since Zucker was ousted in disgrace on Feb. 2, the Washington Times reported. Previously, the network was averaging 100 times per week but has plummeted to 34 mentions weekly.
Zucker had failed to disclose a long-lasting affair he was having with fellow CNN employee Allison Gollust, and both of them have been let go from the network. It’s well known that Zucker was responsible for the harsh criticism aimed at Fox News, which he called “state-run TV” and a “pure propaganda machine” in 2018.
Now that he’s gone, Mediate analyst Colby Hall has noticed a shift away from the network’s habit of sniping at Fox News. “If one looks at average daily mentions, Fox was uttered roughly 13 times per day from Jan. 1 to Feb. 2, and five times per day, on average, since,” he said, though it’s too early to tell if it’s will remain a trend.
In Hall’s assessment, CNN’s own viewers have no appetite for the constant barrage of attacks on Fox. “When CNN hosts push back on personal, often ugly, attacks they get from Fox News hosts and do so with the same level of bombast (plus sanctimony), it’s a turn-off for viewers eager to consume proper news,” Hall reasoned.
“Fox News has successfully pulled some CNN hosts into a pro-wrestling dynamic that has hurt CNN far more than Fox.” However, Stephen Green of PJ Media had a simpler theory.
“Maybe — just maybe — someone at CNN woke up to the fact that Fox really does have a much larger audience,” he said. “Zucker turned CNN into the All-Trump/All-Fox Panic Porn network, but I’m guessing that routine isn’t working any longer for two reasons,” he said, noting former President Donald Trump being voted out of office coupled with CNN’s own scandals.