In a rare interview on CBS Sunday Morning with CNN founder Ted Turner, the billionaire and former media mogul said his former network now focuses “too much” on politics, and that he wishes the company would strive for more “balanced” programming between politics and other news.
Turner told veteran anchor Ted Koppel that he rarely follows the news, and only watches his former news channel occasionally.
Echoing many complaints that CNN has become a left-wing echo chamber with a clear political bias and agenda, Turner told Koppel that “I think they’re sticking with politics a little too much. They’d do better to have a more balanced agenda. But that’s, you know, just one person’s opinion.”
Turner left Time Warner, the company that owns CNN, in 2006 after the company bought the cable network 10 years earlier. Turner launched CNN in 1980, and grew it to become a global news network viewed in hundreds of countries.
In the interview that is set to air on Sunday, the 79-year-old Turner also said he’s suffering from Lewy body dementia, a progressive brain disease similar in effects to Alzheimers and which leaves him tired and forgetful.
“It’s a mild case of what people have as Alzheimer’s,” Turner told Ted Koppel in an interview due to air on CBS. “It’s similar to that. But not nearly as bad. Alzheimer’s is fatal.”
Turner, who was interviewed on his 113,000-acre ranch near Bozeman, Montana, told Koppel that symptoms previously blamed on manic depression were in fact caused by Lewy body dementia. The late comic Robin Williams also is believed to have suffered from the disease.
He also discussed his past deliberations about running for president, which he said occurred during his marriage to then-wife Jane Fonda: “Well, the closest I came to running for office was when I was married to Jane Fonda. And when I discussed it with her – she was married to one politician,” Turner says in the interview. “And she said, you know, ‘If you run for, for office, you run alone.'”