CEO Jeff Zucker acknowledges missteps in CNN’s 2016 campaign coverage, when many media outlets covered Donald Trump’s campaign as a spectacle that produced higher ratings.
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Enemies of the People: Trump and the Political Press (CNN's Missteps Excerpt)

Director: Susie Banikarim
Co-Director: Bret Sigler
Additional Producer: Matt Spolar
Editor: Bret Sigler
Sr. Producer: Karen M. Sughrue
Archival Researchers: Jennifer Latham and Andrew Mayz

In this excerpt from Retro Report’s documentary “Enemies of the People: Trump and the Political Press,” CEO Jeff Zucker acknowledges missteps in CNN’s 2016 campaign coverage, when many media outlets covered Donald Trump’s campaign as a spectacle that produced higher ratings.

Top journalists take viewers on a candid journey behind the scenes of the 2016 presidential campaign in a thoughtful critique of the national political press. They reflect on Trump’s toxic relationship with journalists, on questions that haunt them about their role in the drama, and on the decline in public trust in the news media. This Retro Report video takes an unprecedented look at how Trump’s rhetoric – and the response by mainstream media – have reshaped journalism.

From the moment Donald Trump stepped onto an escalator to make a dramatic entrance into the 2016 presidential field, the press played a central role in his candidacy. His tumultuous relationship with reporters became one of the defining themes and conflicts of the campaign. As Trump rose to power, members of the news media were accused by critics of being complicit, mocked and physically threatened by Trump supporters, and derided by the candidate himself as “fake news.”

“It needs to be a ruthless telling of the history if we’re going to learn anything from it,” said David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker.

Remnick appears in the film along with journalists Maggie Haberman, Jeff Zucker, Jorge Ramos, Chuck Todd, Jake Tapper, Katy Tur, Megyn Kelly, Lydia Polgreen, Dana Bash, David Fahrenthold, Brian Stelter, Soledad O’Brien, Jay Rosen, Nancy Gibbs and others.

Enemies of the People was produced in collaboration with Vice TV. It will be available across the United States on VICE TV via all major satellite and cable providers; VICETV.com; and the VICETV app via iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. Or watch it on YT here.