Victor Davis Hanson // National Review
For a while, we thought MSNBC had temporarily usurped CNN as the font of fake news — although both networks had tied for the most negative coverage (93 percent of all their news reports) of President Trump’s first 100 days in office.
A cynic would argue that CNN had deliberately given Trump undue coverage during the Republican primary on the theory that he would be the weakest Republican in the general election and would therefore be the weakest challenger to Hillary Clinton. CNN president Jeffrey Zucker at one point had bragged that in the primaries, Trump made CNN money. Only later, after Trump’s nomination, did Zucker regret giving so much airtime to Trump and his boisterous rallies.
“If we made any mistake last year, it’s that we probably did put too many of his campaign rallies in those early months and let them run,” the contrite Zucker conceded in October 2016, at a talk at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Yet Zucker admitted that Trump had been a “publicity magnet” as a primary candidate, and, more important, “Trump delivered on PR; he delivered on big ratings.”
So CNN’s Zucker gave copious coverage to Apprentice-star Trump both to win ratings and to ensure the nomination of a candidate who was polling anemically against Hillary Clinton — with the intention of then reversing course and destroying Trump in the general election.