The Media’s Preference for Profit over Democracy


Back in 2017, the New York Times published an article titled:  CNN Had a Problem. Donald Trump Solved It – Inside the strange symbiosis between Jeff Zucker and the president he helped create. The NYT journalist interviewed the president of CNN, Jeff Zucker, where he admitted to the world that he wanted to incorporate the ESPN style of debate into the CNN election coverage of the US presidency race.

The idea that politics is sport is undeniable, and we understood that and approached it that way.

As Zucker sees it, his pro-Trump panelists are not just spokespeople for a worldview; they are “characters in a drama,” members of CNN’s extended ensemble cast. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, I can’t believe you have Jeffrey Lord or Kayleigh McEnany,’ but you know what? They know who Jeffrey Lord and Kayleigh McEnany are.”

Zucker is not alone.

CBS Chairman, Les Moonves, gave even more revealing statement in February 2016:

It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS. 

Moonves was speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco.

Most of the ads are not about issues. They’re sort of like the debates,” Moonves said, noting, “[t]here’s a lot of money in the marketplace.”

The 2016 campaign is a “circus,” he remarked, but “Donald’s place in this election is a good thing.”

“Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? … The money’s rolling in and this is fun,” Moonves went on. “I’ve never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.

Just another glaring example of the profit motive helping to make the world a better place.

Thanks for reading,


U.S. News: What do ESPN, Reality TV, and CNN have in common?

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