Jeff Zucker says No to Charlie Hebdo Cartoons, Yes to Al Qaeda

CNN boss Jeff Zucker is catching flack for saying that the network would not show cover of the new edition of Charlie Hebdo, depicting the prophet Muhammad showing solidarity with the victims of the radical Islamist attack on the magazine’s offices last week that killed 12 people.

CNN host Carol Costello explained it this way: “CNN will not show you the new cover, which depicts the prophet Muhammad, because it is our policy not to show potentially offensive images of the prophet.”

We thus have two CNN rationales for self-censoring the work of Charlie Hebdo. When the network declined last week to show the edgy caricatures that appeared to have motivated the attack, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker cited safety as an explanation.

But that hasn't stopped Zucker and CNN from airing al Qaeda propaganda. 

The Washington Post writes that just after Wednesday’s attacks, CNN-er Randi Kaye prepared a report on how slain Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier had been targeted by al-Qaeda, a fact reported far and wide in the media. The reporting didn’t stop there. In a package that aired on “Anderson Cooper 360,” Kaye focused on a page from the March 2013 edition of the al-Qaeda magazine “Inspire” that identified a group of targets.

“YES WE CAN. A BULLET A DAY KEEPS THE INFIDEL AWAY. Defend prophet Muhammad peace be upon him,” reads an introduction to the list. In her package, Kaye explained the rest of the presentation: “The poster reads, ‘WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE FOR CRIMES AGAINST ISLAM,’ published by al-Qaeda.

Jeff Zucker has headed down the slippery slope and fell on his ass.

Both Fox News and CBS did show the cover of the magazine and did not censor the news.