Former CNN host Larry King declared earlier this week that his erstwhile employer “stopped doing news a long time ago,” opting instead to mainly cover President Donald Trump.
King told his RT Television colleague Rick Sanchez (also formerly with CNN) on Tuesday that during the 2016 primary election, CNN covered Trump “as a character.”
“They carried every speech he made,” King said. “They carried more of him than Fox News at the beginning. And so they built the whole thing up and the Republicans had a lot of candidates and they all had weaknesses.”
Sanchez argued CNN gave Trump so much airtime because “they didn’t think he was going to win.”
“I guess it’s to their regret,” said King, whose eponymous program ran from 1985 to 2010.
The 84-year-old further contended that “CNN stopped doing news a long time ago. They do Trump. Fox is Trump TV and MSNBC is anti-Trump all the time.”
“There was vicious winds and storms in the Northeast the other day — not covered on any of the three cable networks. Not covered!” King said. “So when CNN started covering Trump — they were the first, they covered every speech he made — and then they made Trump the story.
“So, Trump is the story in America. I would bet that 98 percent of all Americans mention his name at least once a day. And when it’s come to that, when you can focus on one man, I know Donald 40 years — I know the good side of Donald and I know the bad side of Donald — I think he would like to be a dictator. I think he would love to be able to just run things.
“So, he causes a lot of this. Then his fight with the media and fake news. I’ve been in the media a long time, like you — longer than you, Rick. And in all my years at CNN, in my years at Mutual Radio, I have never seen a conversation where a producer said to a host, ‘Pitch the story this way. Angle it that way. Don’t tell the truth.’ Never saw it. Never saw it.”
Veteran Washington journalist Chris Wallace had some stern words for CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta on Thursday, following his combative exchange with Trump the previous day and some questions for the journalist’s employer.
“Jim Acosta was called on by the president. Asked a question that seemed more to be an argument than really a question, and after he asked several questions, the president told him to sit down and he refused to,” Wallace recounted on Fox News’ “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.”
— Ken Oliver (@realKenOliver) November 8, 2018
“You know I covered the White House for six years during the Ronald Reagan years, and along with Sam Donaldson, I think we were pretty tough, persistent aggressive reporters, but we never did anything like was Jim Acosta did yesterday. I think he embarrassed himself,” said Wallace, who prior to coming to Fox in 2003 worked for both NBC News and ABC News.
“He was disrespectful to his colleagues in asking repeated questions, making it harder for them to get in a question,” Wallace said. “Jim Acosta strikes me more as a showboat, rather than he’d like to get answers to questions.”
Perino — a former White House press secretary during the George W. Bush administration — responded, “I know that a lot of Jim Acosta’s colleagues are frustrated with him.”
Wallace wondered in light of Acosta’s repeated behavior along these lines since Trump took office, “What do the bosses at CNN see as their mission? In this particular case is it to cover the news or to make a scene?”
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