The executive editor of The New York Times unleashed a storm of criticism on Fox News and CNN in an interview published on Friday.
Dean Baquet, who assumed the role of the Times’ executive editor in 2014, criticized the two cable news networks for blending news and entertainment.
“Fox News at its heart is not a journalistic institution,” he told the Financial Times. “Megyn Kelly is a great journalist, Chris Wallace is a great journalist, but it is some weird mix of a little bit of journalism, a little bit of entertainment, a little bit of pandering to a particular audience. … I don’t think Roger Ailes will go down as one of the great journalists of his time.”
Baquet said he believed both CNN and Fox News were “in the long run, bad for democracy.”
“This mix of entertainment and news, and news masquerading as entertainment, is kind of funny except that we now have a guy who is a product of that world nominated as Republican presidential candidate,” he told the Financial Times, referring to Donald Trump.
Baquet roasted CNN for hiring ex-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, whom he described as a “political shill.”
“I’m sorry, that is outrageous,” the executive editor said. “I cannot fathom that.”
Neither Fox News nor CNN provided a comment to the Financial Times on Baquet’s comments.
Throughout the 2016 campaign cycle, The New York Times has offered its readers pointed coverage of Trump’s campaign. Most recently, the paper published pages from the Republican nominee’s 1995 tax returns, a move for which Baquet said he would have risked jail.