In an interview with RT America’s Rick Sanchez on Tuesday, legendary former CNN host Larry King ridiculed his former network’s abandonment of traditional news journalism in favor of non-stop coverage of President Trump, ultimately quipping that “CNN stopped doing news a long time ago.”
King’s comments about CNN came in concert with a host of critiques of other cable news outlets, including Fox News and MSNBC, as well as Trump himself. King collectively blamed the president and the media organizations who devote their coverage to him for working to create the environment of intense animosity and social tension evident in America’s current political climate [transcript from Breitbart; emphasis mine]:
SANCHEZ: As I listen to you I’m thinking that both you and I are old enough to remember that there was a lot of antagonism during the 1960s. There was a lot of antagonism during Watergate. There was certainly antagonism during the Clinton years. But there is something, maybe it’s an undercurrent, that is different now. Can you put your finger on it? What is it?
KING: Two things, Rick — the internet and cable news. Could you imagine cable news in Watergate? And they don’t do news anymore. In fact, RT is one of the few channels doing news. RT does news. CNN stopped doing news a long time ago. They do Trump. Fox is Trump TV and MSNBC is anti-Trump all the time. You don’t see a story — there was vicious winds and storms in the Northeast the other day – not covered on any of the three cable networks, not covered. Not covered! So when CNN started covering Trump — they were the first — they covered every speech he made and then they made Trump the story.
King spared no criticism for Trump, characterizing him as a wannabe “dictator” who “would love to be able to just run things”:
“I would bet that ninety-eight percent of all Americans mention his name at least once a day. And when it’s come to that, when you focus on one man, I know Donald 40 years — I know the good side of Donald and I know the bad side of Donald — I think he would like to be a dictator. I think he would love to be able to just run things. So, he causes a lot of this.”
In spite of his criticism of CNN, King also took time to defend the network from charges of deliberately creating fake news stories, insisting that he “never saw” producers telling hosts to “angle” their news stories in a way so as not to tell the truth during his time working there.