Jeff Zucker Speaks…

The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton writes about a CNN Town Hall meeting this morning…

CNN president Jeff Zucker on Tuesday admitted it was a “mistake” to publish a controversial story on the network’s website Monday calling slain Baltimore resident Freddie Gray “the son of an illiterate heroin addict.”

“This was a mistake,” Zucker said at a town hall event for staffers, according to a transcript the network provided to TheWrap. “The digital team removed it last night and inserted an editors note to be completely transparent. The editorial intent as the digital team has laid it out to me was to make clear he had a difficult upbringing. But clearly it did not come across that way when it was written and published. We recognize that. It did not work and we removed it. And were transparent about that. That was a mistake.”

And then there’s this…

Though a network insider who observed the town hall event described Zucker’s comments as an apology and his behavior as conciliatory, a CNN spokesperson disputed that characterization: “He never used the word ‘apology,’ nor any word that evokes apology.”

I’ll buy that it wasn’t an apology but an admission of error. Besides if it was an apology it was directed to the wrong audience. An apology would be directed publicly in the form of a statement. This wasn’t that at all.

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