CNN’s Jeff Zucker Pulls an Obama While Remarking on Matt Lauer’s Perversions
CNN chief Jeff Zucker pulled a page from Barack Obama’s playbook in responding to the Matt Lauer scandal.
“I’ve known Matt for 25 years and I didn’t know this Matt,” Zucker said at Business Insider’s Ignition conference on Thursday, adding, “It’s incredibly, incredibly heartbreaking.
When anyone with whom Barack Obama had a long association was revealed to be a racist, a criminal, or some otherwise embarrassing type of character, Obama had a habit of saying that, “This is not the [insert name here] that I knew.” For example, it was a way for Obama to claim ignorance of Jeremiah Wright’s flagrant racism and pretend he was absent whenever Wright damned America or railed against the Jews during the 20 plus years of their relationship.
It was a tactic that satisfied the Democrat-friendly media and swept embarrassments under the rug and out of the news cycle. It was also completely unbelievable for anyone with a shred of common sense.
Zucker was executive producer of “Today” between 1992 and 2000 when he was promoted to president of NBC Entertainment. He was eventually elevated to president and CEO of NBC-Universal. Lauer anchored “Today” for two decades, emerging as perhaps the most recognizable figure in morning news. NBC fired Lauer this week after receiving a complaint from a female colleague accusing Lauer of inappropriate sexual behavior while covering the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Variety later published a report that documented multiple allegations from colleagues ranging from inappropriate jokes to the sexual propositioning of underlings.“There was never a complaint about Matt,” said Zucker. “There was never a suggestion of that kind of deviant or predatory behavior. There was never even a whisper of it.”