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Zucker’s Mistress a Convenient Cover-Story for Deeper Turmoil at CNN

'As usual, with CNN, you’ve got to wade through a lot of lies to get to what actually happened... '

(Gregg Pupecki, Headline USA) In the aftermath of CNN chief Jeff Zucker’s surprise departure this week, speculation has run rampant about the underlying reasons.

Longtime critics of the fake-news network doubted Zucker’s claim that it was due to a years-long affair considered by industry insiders to be an “open secret” at the company. Amid recent shakeups and plummeting ratings, Zucker’s relationship with top network executive Allison Gollust seemed, instead, to be a convenient cover story.

The network, which once pitched itself as the ‘most trusted name in news’ has become the most scandal-plagued news network in recent history.

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Former CNN producer John Griffin allegedly led a perverted life, accused of luring girls for “sexual subservient” training.

Former prime-time host Chris Cuomo was given the boot for reports of his aiding and abetting his brother, disgraced ex-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

And while the younger Cuomo brother was confronted with his own set of sexual harassment issues, fellow primetime host Don Lemon faces trial for allegations that he fondled himself and sexually assaulted a bartender in the Hamptons.

‘RUDDERLESS’ WITHOUT TRUMP

Former President Donald Trump—a top target of CNN’s lies, wild innuendo and irresponsible reporting, both during and after his presidency—revealed in December that industry sources were murmuring about an imminent ouster for Zucker.

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“Word is that CNN and its new owners want Jeff Zucker out, not only because of the turmoil of Fredo Cuomo, the Don Lemon (‘the dumbest man on television’) escapades, and so much else, but primarily because his ratings have gone to an all-time low, and the so-called ‘network’ is rudderless,” Trump wrote in a Dec. 18 statement.

“In any event, that’s great news for America,” Trump added. “Maybe CNN can be brought back to what it was in the good old days of the legendary Ted Turner.”

Reports from Project Veritas, which in 2020 released recordings of CNN conference calls proving the network’s extreme bias, indicated that Zucker held a vendetta against Trump dating back to his tenure as NBC president while Trump—then the host of “The Apprentice”—was one of the Peacock’s top stars.

Trump issued several more statements celebrating Zucker’s departure this week.

“Jeff Zucker, a world-class sleazebag who has headed ratings and real-news-challenged CNN for far too long, has been terminated for numerous reasons, but predominantly because CNN has lost its way with viewers and everybody else,” Trump wrote Wednesday.

“Now is a chance to put Fake News in the backseat because there may not be anything more important than straightening out the horrendous LameStream Media in our Country, and in the case of CNN, throughout the World,” he added. “Jeff Zucker is gone—congratulations to all!

CUOMO’S REVENGE?

Ironically, the bitter rivalty with Trump proved to be a boon for CNN and other cable news networks. But it was Zucker’s own ideological bretheren on the far-Left who may have been instrumental in effecting his downfall.

Some speculate that it was the Cuomo family, which remains a powerful force in New York politics, with Andrew Cuomo continuing to weigh a political comeback after having all criminal charges from his sexual-harassment scandals dropped by partisan prosecutors.

Rival network Fox News led the way in floating theories that the indelicate handling of the Cuomos’ scandals proved to be an insurmountable liability for Zucker.

Fox host Tucker Carlson agreed during his opening monologue Wednesday that Zucker’s failure to disclose his romantic relationship was a red herring.

“Everyone in the TV business already knew about Zucker’s relationship with the head of CNN’s marketing department,” Carlson said, according to PolitiCrossing. “But as usual, with CNN, you’ve got to wade through a lot of lies to get to what actually happened.”

Zucker’s mistress, Allison Gollust, was also a former communications director for Andrew Cuomo, raising the possibility that the network’s decision to go light on the scandal-plagued governor over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic might have been swayed by multiple conflicts of interest.

During a question-and-answer session where CNN employees grilled WarnerMedia Chief Executive Jason Kilar over Zucker’s resignation, anchor Jake Tapper said that Chris Cuomo hired a lawyer who seemed eager to leak damaging information unless they gave Cuomo severance pay, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“An outside observer might say, ‘Well, it looks like Chris Cuomo succeeded,’” Tapper said. “He threatened Jeff. Jeff said we don’t negotiate with terrorists. And Chris blew the place up. How do we get past that perception that this is the bad guy winning?”

Meanwhile, CNN founder Ted Turner, whose past stewardship revolutionized the cable-news model and took the Atlanta-based channel to a place of global prominence during the 1990s, seemed to shrug off the drama altogether, focusing instead on the Chinese lunar new year.    

Headline USA’s Mark Pellin and Ben Sellers contributed to this report.

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