Via Mediaite, the man you’ll find here talking up integrity and hard-news priorities is the same guy who went so insane over the missing Malaysian jet that in early April CNN.com led — led — with the news that the jet had been photographed. Not photographed during its fateful flight in March; not photographed on the runway before the flight. Photographed years ago, at random times by random people, just as random objects are photographed all the time for random reasons. That was the top story on CNN’s website that day.
But don’t bother him about Benghazi.
“Climate change is one of those stories that deserves more attention, that we all talk about,” Zucker 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.”
And will it cover the special committee hearings by House Republicans to probe the 2012 Benghazi embassy attack? Zucker told Carter he didn’t know yet.
“We’re not going to be shamed into it by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something,” he said. “If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it.”
Coincidentally, the president reminded the media last night at a fundraiser that the new Benghazi investigation, which has yet to hold a single hearing, is obviously unserious and clearly designed to make people more cynical about government. He said that at a moment when the lead story in most media outlets is wounded veterans dying because government-run health care at the VA is precisely the sort of corrupt mess with endless wait times that you’d expect government-run health care to be, Obama’s old promises to fix it notwithstanding. That’s what’s waiting for CNN to cover as an alternative to cynicism about government a la Benghazi.
Via the MRC, enjoy as the leaders of tomorrow demonstrate that, believe it or not, the public has not been oversaturated with Benghazi coverage. Too bad they weren’t tested on the Malaysian jet instead of Pharrell Williams; I’d be curious to know how solid their grasp of that topic is by contrast.