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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

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.

Biden threatens Putin

Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In a video call that lasted for just over two hours on Tuesday, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Russia invades Ukraine the U.S. will impose unprecedented sanctions and provide additional weaponry to the Ukrainians, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Why it matters: Russia's military activity on the border with Ukraine has triggered alarms from the U.S. and its European allies of a potential large-scale Russian invasion in early 2022. Sullivan said Biden made clear to Putin that, "things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now."