CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday said he was "...going a little rogue" on his show Reliable Sources and insisted that complaints about CNN’s lack of journalism are fake news. He said that Jeff Zucker's departure as head of CNN last week was "shocking."
"CNN was not built by just one man, not by only Ted Turner and it was not led only by Jeff Zucker. CNN is so much bigger than any single individual. It is about teams and teams of people, thousands of individuals who make up CNN."
"This place is not perfect. It will never be perfect. We will always have flaws, we will always screw up, we will always have to run corrections. We will always have to keep working to make it better and better and better every day. That is the goal.
"But the people who say we’re lacking journalism, that we’ve become an all-talk channel, that we’ve run off and we’re all opinions all the time, that Jeff Zucker led us astray, those people aren’t watching CNN."
"They're watching complaints about CNN on other channels that don't know what they're talking about," Stelter said.
Stelter touted the number of news bureaus globally. He said that in the week since Zucker resigned in disgrace, CNN published 215 stories online with 90 original videos. "That’s a hell of a lot of news. It’s a hell of a lot of journalism."
"CNN is the executives and it’s the interns and everybody in between who keeps this place running 24/7. We lost our leader this week. We’re not going anywhere."
Zucker resigned after he disclosed a years-long romantic relationship with his subordinate Allison Gollust which was discovered during the investigation into allegations of former CNN host Chris Cuomo.
According to former staffers, Zucker also failed to elevate new talent, made opinion pieces the center of CNN’s primetime lineup and steered the network’s coverage of Donald Trump.