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CNN, Fox News bosses get ugly with public smack-down

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After being insulted by Fox News President Roger Ailes earlier this week, CNN President Jeff Zucker pushed back Friday with a scathing accusation.

Speaking to the media at the Television Critics Association winter meeting in Pasadena, Calif., Zucker said the Republican Party “is being run out of News Corp. headquarters masquerading as a cable news channel,” The Associated Press reported.

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Zucker said a book about Ailes and Fox News being published this month confirmed his assertion, calling Ailes’ earlier slap on CNN an attempt to deflect attention from the book, according to AP.

Earlier in the week, in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Ailes said CNN’s attempts to do more with its broadcasts than breaking news was the network’s way to “throw in the towel and announce they’re out of the news business,” adding, “That means Fox has won the cable news wars.”

Zucker scoffed at Ailes’ conclusion, according to Los Angeles Times media reporter Joe Flint, who tweeted from the winter meeting:

Zucker appeared to get another dig in against Fox News, this time taking on MSNBC, too, according to Ed Martin, television critic and analyst for MediaPost and the Huffington Post, who tweeted:

With 2014 a little more than a week old, it’s already promising to be quite a year in the cable news industry.

Tom Tillison

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