CNN Insider: Network Should Fire 'Water Boy' Brian Stelter for Not Exposing Zucker-Gollust Affair
21:59 GMT 03.02.2022 (Updated: 19:56 GMT 18.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Evan AgostiniBrian Stelter attends the 15th annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in New York.
© AP Photo / Evan Agostini
The president of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker, announced on Wednesday that he would immediately resign from his position after an investigation into former anchor Chris Cuomo led to the network discovering that Zucker failed to disclose a "consensual relationship" with Allison Gollust, CNN's executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
As CNN continues to grapple with the abrupt resignation of Zucker, the network is also facing calls to hold CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter accountable for not coming forward about the executive's affair.
According to the Daily Mail, a CNN insider is claiming that the "Reliable Sources" host should be fired after "he failed to report on the scoop that everyone in the office knew."
"And if he wants to say he didn't know, he is truly terrible at his job," said the unnamed insider, identified by Daily Mail as a "cable news vet."
Zucker and Gollust have claimed their previously undisclosed affair began during the COVID-19 pandemic, although sources have disputed the timeline of events.
The insider described Stelter as a hypocrite who was considered by some as "Jeff Zucker's water boy for years."
"He's been sitting on his moral high horse doing Jeff's bidding and ripping Fox and every other media outlet that Jeff tells him to while his ratings crash and burn," the source claimed. "Where was he on the biggest story at his own network after chastising everyone else?"
CNN's viewership has drastically declined in 2022, despite remaining among basic cable's top 10 for the highest average total day viewers. Compared to January 2021, the network dropped 77% in total primetime viewership, with an 82% decline in the key 25-54 age demographic.
3 February 2022, 12:33 GMT
Former US President Donald Trump, who has maintained a contentious relationship with the cable news network, expressed in a Thursday memo that Zucker "is out because of horrible ratings," not because he was "concealing a relationship" from CNN.
NEW!— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) February 3, 2022
President Donald J. Trump:
“Jeff Zucker is not out at CNN for “concealing a relationship” as the Fake New York Times writes on its front page headline. Zucker is happy and proud (and lucky!) that he can have a relationship. He is out because... pic.twitter.com/EKDDBML79C
Trump has been railing the network's ratings since late 2021, and responded to Zucker's resignation on Wednesday by claiming the latter was "terminated for numerous reasons, but predominantly because CNN has lost its way with viewers and everybody else.”
Questions have also emerged concerning the network's decision to only oust Zucker.
Sources recently told the New York Post that CNN staffers have expressed discontent over Gollust remaining in her position after "lying" about her affair with Zucker.
"Why is she allowed to keep her job?" the insider asked. "CNN is supposed to be a transparent news network. How does she get away with lying about their affair for so long?"
Another insider disputed the timeline provided by Zucker and Gollust, calling the COVID romance claim "a total lie."