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CNN president Jeff Zucker told media reporter Brian Stelter at the "Citizen by CNN" conference on Thursday that Fox News is "akin to state-run TV" and that he doesn't consider it to be a journalistic organization.

ZUCKER: I think that you often say there is this difference between the news side and the opinion side. ... I think you're wrong.
STELTER: So give me some evidence.
ZUCKER: Watch it. ... I think it's doing a disservice to the country. But that's the path that the Murdochs have decided to go down.

The big picture: CNN and Fox News have butted heads in the Trump era, with both networks consistently attacking each other for alleged bias.

  • Zucker acknowledged that there are talented, news-focused journalists within Fox, but argued that those figures alone "don't make it a news organization."
  • Zucker also commented on the departure of Fox anchor Shep Smith, who was viewed as a moderate and Trump critic within the conservative-leaning network, saying that it's "not a place where somebody like Shep Smith could work." He called Smith "talented" and said he would be "very open to talking to him" when he becomes available.
  • The CNN president also argued the Murdoch family, which runs Fox News, is responsible "for a lot of problems in this country" by helping spread conspiracy theories.

The other side: Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst shot back at Zucker on Twitter, listing a lengthy thread of Fox stories that he says have held those in power accountable over the past year.

"If you don't think Fox News is a 'journalistic organization,' I'd encourage you to take a look at the work my colleagues have done over the past year. Holding those in power accountable, risking their lives to get the story and reporting the facts."

Fox News did not provide a comment.

Go deeper: Conservative news goes to war over impeachment

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

7 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."