Mar 24 2018

America's Fox News hits out at CNN Türk

In response to CNN chief Jeff Zucker saying that America's conservative Fox News channel is "a pure propaganda machine" and "state-run TV", Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson launched an attack on CNN's Turkish subsidiary CNN Türk.

"(CNN head) Jeff Zucker's CNN is now in effect in business with the authoritarian, Islamist and highly anti-American Erdoğan government," Carlson said.

"In Turkey, where it actually matters, CNN is literally state-run TV."

CNN Türk's recent sale to a pro-Erdoğan business magnate would not make things much worse, Carlson predicted.

"Not that much will change at CNN Türk. Zucker's station already lovingly broadcasts every Erdoğan speech in its entirety. It denies a platform to Turkey's besieged opposition parties," Carlson said.

"The channel has long trafficked in lunatic anti-American conspiracy theories. CNN Türk once accused an American professor with no evidence at all of helping to orchestrate a failed 2016 coup against Erdoğan."

Carlson also mentioned the 2013 Gezi protests, during which CNN Türk chose to broadcast documentaries instead of news in order to avoid provoking the government.

"Sometimes, Jeff Zucker's state TV channel doesn't cover the news at all," he said. "For example, in 2013 more than 8,000 pro-democracy protesters were injured protesting the Erdoğan government. Jeff Zucker's channel ignored the whole thing. CNN Türk ran a documentary on penguins instead."

Fox TV in Turkey also puts out much pro-government news content, although it also employs presenters such as Fatih Portakal who are often critical of the government.

The question of how long that channel, which is wholly owned by Disney following its recent purchase of News International, can retain some independence in the face of present government media policies remains to be seen.