In a jarring report put out by McClatchy’s DC Bureau on Monday, and “confirmed” by a “CNN spokeswoman,” CNN boss Jeff Zucker was so impressed with then-District Attorney Kamala Harris that he hosted a 2009 “power breakfast” in order to “introduce her to ‘some of the leading movers and shakers in New York,’” ahead of her successful run for senator of California.
According to the report, Zucker’s preference for Harris began back in 2004 after he attended a dinner party in San Francisco. “It was at the dinner with his then-wife, where Harris, ‘really knocked our socks off,’ Zucker said at the time. ‘For better or worse,’ he said, ‘I get to meet a lot of people and so it takes a lot to do that,’” McClatchy’s David Catanese reported Zucker as saying.
“As a result, Zucker decided to take the extraordinary step of hosting a power breakfast on Harris’ behalf to introduce her to ‘some of the leading movers and shakers in New York,’” Catanese added.
At the 2009 breakfast, Zucker reportedly told the powerful New Yorkers that “Kamala is not just important for the city of San Francisco, the state of California, but for the entire country”.
Zucker was apparently quite direct about how he had never supported a candidate as much as he wanted to support Harris:
But at the Rockefeller Center breakfast, Zucker made clear his backing of a political figure such as Harris was not something he’d ever indulged in before. “This is in fact, the first time I’ve ever done one of these, and that’s because I have a very, very strict policy because of my job. I’ve taken a position that I completely stay out of supporting candidates of any party and try to stay out of politics entirely,” he said.
Although, McClatchy would go on to note that “Zucker has never personally donated money to Harris, and Harris’ campaign characterized their interactions as infrequent.”
CNN chief spokesperson Allison Gollust confirmed the breakfast, telling Catanese: “Jeff hosted a small breakfast in New York for Kamala Harris when she was the District Attorney of San Francisco.”
While many like to take jabs at CNN for their terrible ratings, this clear admiration for Harris was deeply concerning because, as McClatchy pointed out: “Zucker is a powerful friend to have — a man worth $40 million who holds countless connections to America’s most elite quarters in media, finance and politics.”
That’s not to mention the upcoming Democratic Party primary debates taking place on CNN this Tuesday and Wednesday.
The other reason to be apprehensive was Zucker’s penchant for micromanaging his network, right down to being in the ear and directing anchors on what questions to ask during interviews as they’re going on. It’s a habit of Zucker’s that has been well documented.