CNN has once again proved why it finds itself at the bottom of the ratings heap. Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been missing for more than 60 days with little to no ‘new’ information available, but CNN’s president Jeff Zucker is not apologizing for his network’s wall-to-wall coverage.
“I don’t think there’s any question about our commitment to breaking news, as evidenced by all the questions about the plane,” Zucker told New York Times television reporter Bill Carter during an interview at the Deadline Club’s annual awards dinner. “So we’re still there whenever that happens, but we’re going to supplement that with some different kind of storytelling.”
Don’t expect that “different kind of storytelling” to include much about the Obama Administration’s refusal to cooperate in investigations surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
“We’re not going to be shamed into [Benghazi coverage] by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something,” Zucker said. “If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it.”
So what does Zucker believe is worth covering?
“Climate change is one of those stories that deserves more attention, that we all talk about,” he said. “But we haven’t figured out how to engage the audience in that story in a meaningful way. When we do do those stories, there does tend to be a tremendous amount of lack of interest on the audience’s part.”
“Stick to your guns, Jeff,” Pat joked on radio this morning. “Don’t do real news. Don’t do it. Don’t let them goad you into real news.”