CNN’s Jeff Zucker: Donna Brazile’s behavior ‘hurts all of us’

posted at 5:01 pm on November 1, 2016 by John Sexton

CNN president Jeff Zucker is apparently pretty upset over Donna Brazile passing debate questions to the Clinton camp while she was at CNN. From the Huffington Post:

CNN president Jeff Zucker described former network commentator Donna Brazile’s interactions with the Clinton campaign as “unethical” and “disgusting” during a Tuesday editorial meeting, according to a source with knowledge of the matter…

On Tuesday’s call, Zucker said the perception campaigns could receive questions in advance “hurts all of us,” according to a source. “I have no tolerance for her behavior or that kind of behavior,” Zucker added, referring to Brazile.

There are a few striking aspects of this story which deserve more attention than they are getting. First of all, it really is remarkable that it took not one but two clear instances of cheating for Zucker to finally get angry about this. Recall that Brazile denied everything when the first Wikileaks story broke about her sending a debate question to the Clinton camp in advance. And CNN didn’t seem too worked up about it at first. It wasn’t until the other shoe dropped in the form of a second leaked email showing Brazile doing the same thing that she was dumped. Why did Brazile seem to get a pass on the first clear instance of cheating?

Second, I understand what Zucker means when he says Donna Brazile’s behavior “hurts all of us.” He’s talking about all of CNN, because this hurts their credibility given that Brazile was working for them when this happened. But the fact remains that there was someone on the other end of this “disgusting” and “unethical” transaction who stood to benefit from having those questions in advance. That person is Hillary Clinton. Based on the fact that the Clinton camp didn’t scold Brazile for sending the questions to them, it’s certainly reasonable to believe her aides passed the information on to her.

In any case, with two proven instances of this happening and Donna Brazile now permanently sacked by CNN, there would seem to be enough groundwork in place for the media to take the next step. The obvious next step is to ask what happened to these questions once they were passed to the Clinton camp. Did she cheat during the debates? If so, doesn’t that reflect just as badly on Clinton for using the questions as it does on Donna Brazile for providing them?

Imagine for a moment that Corey Lewandowski had been caught passing debate questions to the Trump camp in advance, not once but twice. How long would it take the media to begin demanding an answer about whether or not Trump used that information? How long before this was the only question he was being asked at public appearances? Reporters would force him to deny it on camera and then ask him for proof to back up his denials. It would be a cloud of suspicion (another one) from which he would never emerge.

Strangely, no one in the media seems interested in taking that approach with Clinton. It’s almost as if the media, collectively, has decided it doesn’t want to know. It really is a most remarkable amount of disinterest in following up on this story.


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