Jeff Zucker saga: MSNBC continues on-air blackout of growing CNN scandal

MSNBC is inexplicably doubling down on its complete avoidance of the growing scandal plaguing its direct competitor. 

CNN president Jeff Zucker shocked the media landscape on Wednesday when he announced his immediate resignation for failing to acknowledge a consensual relationship he had with a colleague. 

However, in the days following Zucker’s abrupt downfall, the Peacock network has not made any mention of it, according to Grabien transcripts.

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Notably, MSNBC host Joy Reid appeared to acknowledge that CNN was in a heap controversy while concluding a panel discussion on “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg, who was suspended by ABC News for saying the Holocaust “is not about race.”

“I ran out of time. I have to bring you back, Chris, to talk about the whole CNN situation because that’s the other tea I needed. But I’ll just text you and get that to you later,” Reid told entertainment journalist Chris Witherspoon. 

The “ReidOut” host never returned to the subject, nor did any of her colleagues.

FILE PHOTO: Jeff Zucker, former president of CNN in 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo | CNN building. Getty Images

FILE PHOTO: Jeff Zucker, former president of CNN in 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo | CNN building. Getty Images
(Getty images  |  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo)

Unlike MSNBC, CNN repeatedly addressed its own scandal on Wednesday. And after no on-air mention of it on Thursday, Don Lemon offered a eulogy-like tribute to his former boss on Friday. 

NBC News, meanwhile, did cover the Zucker resignation on its website as well as its morning and evening newscasts. Both ABC News and CBS News did the same. 

Fox News previously reached out to MSNBC and asked if anchors and hosts were directed to not mention Zucker. MSNBC did not respond to the request for comment. 

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It’s worth noting that Zucker previously oversaw MSNBC as the president and CEO of NBCUniversal until his departure in 2010 after being with the company for 24 years. 

MSNBC previously delayed its coverage of the controversy that plagued former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, going several days last year avoiding his suspension from the network only to provide breaking news coverage of his firing.

MSNBC continues avoiding Jeff Zucker's scandalous exit from CNN. 

MSNBC continues avoiding Jeff Zucker’s scandalous exit from CNN. 
(Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images)

There appears to be some sort of treaty between CNN and MSNBC regarding the two liberal rivals turning a blind eye toward drama occurring at the other network. 

MSNBC previously ignored the sexual harassment allegation Chris Cuomo himself faced after veteran TV producer Shelley Ross came forward claiming the CNN anchor sexually harassed her in 2005 when the two of them worked at ABC News. MSNBC also avoided the awkward return of CNN’s chief legal analyst and Zoom masturbation star Jeffrey Toobin. 

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CNN, in return, almost never covers MSNBC’s controversies and the outlandish commentary.

MSNBC similarly delayed any mention of the controversy that has plagued Whoopi Goldberg, offering sympathetic coverage on Wednesday after the network ignored the ABC snafu on Monday and Tuesday.

Jeff Zucker and Allison Gollust have been an item for years, according to a media industry veteran who worked with them roughly a decade ago.

Jeff Zucker and Allison Gollust have been an item for years, according to a media industry veteran who worked with them roughly a decade ago.
(Getty Images)

Zucker stunned CNN staffers hours earlier informing them of his immediate departure from the network, saying he was “wrong” to not disclose his relationship with colleague Allison Gollust, an executive vice president and chief marketing officer. 

Gollust, who is remaining with the company, issued her own statement, saying, “Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years. Recently, our relationship changed during COVID. I regret that we didn’t disclose it at the right time.”

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Damning revelations have been reported since Zucker’s resignation, including how his relationship with Gollust dates to 1996 when she was a “trainee” and he was the executive producer of NBC’s “Today” show and how the two of them fed “talking points” to Gollust’s old boss, Andrew Cuomo, to combat attacks from then-President Trump in the early months of the COVID pandemic. 

The CNN lovebirds were also reportedly “instrumental” in the televised Cuomo Brothers interviews in 2020 and Gollust personally appealed to the governor to continue his CNN appearances when his office began resisting. 

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