Saying that CNN had a very bad week would be an understatement. It was a rough and embarrassing week for the news network.
Fox News had been condemned for a “dangerous distortion of the truth,” when Brian Stelter, the Cable News Network’s chief media correspondent, published his book titled, “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth”.
However, a few days after the said incident, evidence surfaced which pointed to the CNN leaders having been involved in more than they should have been. There was proof that they meddled in a congressional race, tried to coach Trump’s lawyer on Stormy Daniels, and, in 2016, offered favors to a presidential candidate in exchange for the promise of a television show.
Well, that certainly seems like a lot, doesn’t it? However, it doesn’t stop there. Below are three of the most controversial CNN scandals.
1. A Favor For A TV Show
CNN’s week started going downhill on Tuesday. Fox News host Tucker Carlson played a tape that involved CNN president Jeff Zucker, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, and Trump’s then lawyer Michael Cohen.
Zucker had apparently told Cohen that he wanted Donald Trump to host a weekly show. He did this while highlighting the importance of winning CNN’s favor, in order to win the race and earn the spot in the Oval Office.
During the March 2016 conversation between the CNN president and Trump’s lawyer, Zucker had told Cohen, “You guys have had great instincts, great guts, and great understanding of everything. But you’re missing the boat on how it works going forward.”
Zucker was the former CEO of NBC Universal while “The Apprentice” aired, and he had worked with Trump during that time. Zucker went on to say: “You cannot be elected president of the United States without CNN.”
The CNN president had given Cohen advice for Trump in 2016 regarding how to handle the March 10 debate. He had talked about how Trump should react to being called a conman.
Zucker had shared his concerns about contacting “the boss” — as Cohen refers to Trump — directly through email, as he feared Trump accidentally mentioning their conversations in a campaign.
“I’m very conscious of not putting too much in email, as you’re a lawyer, as you understand,” Zucker had said before continuing: “It’s not that I don’t want to talk to [Trump] everyday. I’ve just got to be careful… I just don’t want him talking about it on the campaign trail… but you know what? I’m going to give him a call right now and I’m going to wish him luck in the debate tonight.”
2. Secret Tapes: Chris Cuomo And Stormy Daniels
On Wednesday night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson released another tape. This time, it contained a conversation between CNN host Cuomo and Trump’s then lawyer Cohen. The conversation took place in 2018, as Cuomo prepared Cohen to conduct an interview.
In simpler words, Cuomo gave Cohen a script to follow. He taught him how to dodge questions that would implicate him, and advised him to attack the anchor if he needed to deflect a question.
“Michael Cohen was worried about doing the interview because he knew he’d get questions about the payments he made to Stormy Daniels. He wanted Chris Cuomo to tell him what to say,” Carlson said.
The recording even included CNN host Cuomo informing former lawyer Cohen that he would make some phone calls. He needed to do this to make sure that he wouldn’t be put in legal trouble for the questions he would be asking.
3. CNN’s Jake Tapper And Sean Parnell
Hell week continued for the news network on Thursday as word got out that CNN anchor Jake Tapper had lied about trying to convince a Republican candidate not to run against Democratic Representative Conor Lamb for a western Pennsylvania House seat.
Sean Parnell is a US Army veteran who had officially declared his candidacy in the US House race on November 8, 2019. Tapper had suggested that it would be better for Parnell to run in a safer district for Republicans. A source had accused Tapper of unethical participation in political activism.
Fox News had obtained a Twitter direct message from Tapper’s @jaketapper account to Parnell’s @SeanParnellUSA, saying: “And best of luck in your race. For the record, I wasn’t trying to talk you out of running — I was trying to talk you into running in a safer R district! Lol.”
When Richard Grenell from the Republican National Committee (RNC) had asked the CNN anchor earlier in the week about allegedly trying to discourage Parnell, Tapper had denied the accusation and lied outright.
Grenell had asked, “Is it true you asked Sean Parnell to not run against Conor Lamb?”
“Nope,” Tapper responded.
However, pictures of the said direct message have been going around online. The pictures show that Tapper had lied about “advising” Sean Parnell not to run against Democrat Conor Lamb.
Richard Grenell had tweeted on Thursday:
The @CNN bias is serious. We all know this.
But when @jaketapper, a former Democrat Hill staffer from Pennsylvania, tries to manipulate a Pennsylvania Congressional race while hosting a nightly news show, the cable network MUST take action.
It seems that CNN made the wrong move trying to take on Fox News.
It might have looked like a great plan for CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter to publish his book, but Fox News has proved that CNN took on the wrong network. By revealing CNN’s questionable dealings, Fox News took the light away from their “dangerous distortion of the truth,” and shone it onto CNN’s shady dealings instead.