Project Veritas’ recent release of leaked recordings of CNN’s daily editorial board conference call meetings reveals the network to be anything but the “Most Trusted Name in News.” At least, if you’re not a rabid liberal and supporter of the Democratic Party or someone who believes the news should always reflect something approximating the truth. This treasure trove of liberal mainstream media behaving badly is evidence that CNN is not only assiduously and bitterly hostile to President Donald Trump; it is a left-wing propaganda mouthpiece that exists to the advance the policies and objectives of the Democratic Party in general—one that feverishly worked to elect Joe Biden as president in particular.
It is so hands-on, in fact, that Zucker tells the editorial staff what the news is going to be for the day and just how that news is going to be reported.
Over a period of months, Project Veritas surreptitiously recorded these meetings at CNN with the help of a whistleblower. The group has established a reputation for clandestinely recording the private conversations and behind-closed-doors pronouncements of liberal media and activists over the years. In October 2019, they released recordings of CNN executives telling reporters to keep the daily news focus on impeachment. In February ABC’s Washington correspondent David Wright was disciplined after Project Veritas caught him talking about his socialist political convictions and how his network is not progressive enough in its treatment of the national news.
This latest dump of raw material might be their best catch yet. We are treated to the daily editorial direction of CNN president Jeff Zucker and other head honchos at the capitol of fake news, who evidently believe in a hands-on style of leadership. It is so hands-on, in fact, that Zucker tells the editorial staff what the news is going to be for the day and just how that news is going to be reported.
For instance, when President Donald Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus, like hundreds of other prominent people, Zucker described him as “a president who knows he’s losing, who knows he’s in trouble, is sick, maybe is on the aftereffects of steroids or not. I don’t know. But he is acting erratically and desperately, and we need to not normalize that.” Of course, he never clarified just how he was acting “erratically and desperately.” Was he doing so when he said he was feeling “really, really strong” and wanted to go back to work? Not fearing the pandemic seemed to be equated with erratic behavior by Zucker—and of course, CNN’s reporting tows that line.
Zucker also seemed fixated on defeating Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who, for a while, appeared to be in a tough race with his Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison. Zucker wanted to do his part in bringing down the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who is generally a staunch Trump ally, telling the editorial board, “Frankly, if we’ve made any mistake, it’s been that our banners have been too polite, and we need to go well after Lindsey Graham.”
According to the leaks, Zucker tells CNN’s editorial board when to report and when not to report the news—effectively making the “news” for CNN and it’s millions of viewers.
CNN’S CLEAR AND PRESENT MISSION
Leaked discussions between Zucker and his editorial board about Fox News host Tucker Carlson is particularly interesting. In the audio, this time it is not Zucker talking but, according to Project Veritas, it is CNN’s digital vice-president of global programming, Marcus Mabry. Mabry sees a code 3 red alert in Carlson’s nightly program which became the highest-rated cable program on television during the summer.
CNN does not exist to report the news; it exists to promote progressive policies and denigrate conservative ones.
Carlson was always striving to reach the top run of the media ladder before finally getting his own show on Fox just as its premier media star, Bill O’Reilly, was on his way out the door. He would move to the coveted 9 p.m. time slot when Megyn Kelly also moved on. But he reached the apex of his career (and has arguably stayed there) since the 2020 summer of anarchy.
During the darkest months of the looting and rioting that liberal outlets like CNN insisted were nothing more than “peaceful protests,” Carlson became a spokesman for the Republican everyman and a constant critic of a media establishment that affirmed the existence of systemic racism and condoned the role of identity politics in America. Even as he railed against Republican lawmakers for what he saw as their cowardice in not facing down Black Lives Matter and their far-left agenda, Carlson became, in essence, an anti-CNN figure: a lightning rod for media liberals who demanded obedience to their talking points. Carlson even identified mail-in voting as a potential source for huge voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election.
Perhaps that’s why Mabry suggested that Carlson was peddling the same kind of “naked racism” as the Ku Klux Klan:
“Yeah, I was just going to say, if you’re going to talk about the story, I think it’s unavoidable that you have to talk about the naked racism of Tucker Carlson. Because that’s really what drove this anti-diversity push, you know, Trump watches Tucker Carlson’s show and then reacts. And just as sort of the white supremacy hour they have on Fox News every night … You can’t disconnect the two.”
In the October 2019 leaks, Project Veritas previously documented that Zucker believes Fox News and any conservative news for that matter is just bad for America. But it’s one thing to believe the media competition is not relaying the news in the manner that it should be; it is quite another to regularly tell your editorial staff that it is going to promote the sweetness and light of the Democratic Party while casigatigaing the dark objectives of the Republicans and Donald Trump.
But that is precisely what Zucker achieves and, in so doing, he has created a propaganda unit with the kind of resources that Nazi Minister of Popular Enlightenment Joseph Goebbels would have killed for. CNN does not exist to report the news; it exists to promote progressive policies and denigrate conservative ones.
“WE NEED AN ARMY OF THESE PEOPLE REPORTING ON OUR MEDIA”
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe has been enjoying the release of the most recent leak materials. He relished telling Zucker as much in person after the last conference call had been documented, revealing that he had been listening to his editorial advice for months. “Hey, Jeff Zucker, you there?” O’Keefe asks the great man. “Hey, this is James O’Keefe. We’ve been listening to your CNN calls for basically two months, recording everything. Just wanted to ask you some questions if you have a minute.”
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) December 1, 2020
Zucker appears in shock when he responds, rather politely, to O’Keefe. He thanks him for being informed of the electronic eavesdropping while musing that CNN staff should find another way of discussing the day’s business. Or perhaps, Zucker is just instantly aware that it is time to shut up because he’s said enough already.
Fox News’ Sean Hannity has been following the story all week. O’Keefe relayed the latest released clips on Hannity show this Thursday, beginning with the news that, despite issuing warnings, CNN has not attempted to shut down Project Veritas with a lawsuit. “Any more word from their attorneys that you may have violated [the] law,” Hannity asks O’Keefe. “No Sean, we haven’t heard from anyone,” he responds, as the host says, “That was an empty threat.”
O’Keefe made some interesting points as he explained to Hannity and his substantial audience just why he felt it was necessary to record Zucker’s daily rants. Referring to the CNN whistleblower who gave Project Veritas access to the daily conference calls, O’Keefe said it was “brave people like the person we worked with who are willing to be citizen journalists, willing to expose these sorts of things.” Referencing the oft-cited George Orwell novel, 1984, O’Keefe continued: “We need an army of these people reporting on our media. Because CNN and places like CNN may have more power than all three branches of government if they are working with Google and Facebook if they are working to propagandize the masses.”
While assuring viewers that there was much more material to come, O’Keefe promised to release a tape a day until Christmas, “like an Advent calendar.” He also promised that the material would show “total submission by supposed journalists … to what Zucker’s will is. He just says we are not going to cover this.”
FOR ZUCKER, IMPORTANT STORIES ARE THE ONES THAT DISCREDIT TRUMP
One of the most important things uncovered from the latest drop is how often Zucker decides what should not be covered. If you’re wondering why so few in the media even acknowledged that there was such a thing as a Hunter Biden email story, it’s because Zucker, like so much of the media, simply made an editorial decision that it would be deleterious for the Joe Biden campaign to document how the luckless but somehow always-affluent son of the former VP manages to score business success with the constant assistance of his doting father. Zucker told his editors when the Hunter Biden email story broke in the New York Post that they needn’t waste their time attempting to discover whether Joe Biden was selling his influence around the world; it’s indiscernible to regular people anyway. The CNN president dismissed the story as the “Breitbart, New York Post, Fox News rabbit hole of Hunter Biden, which I don’t think anybody outside of that world understood.” Is it any wonder, then, that CNN did not even acknowledge Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski?
Zucker’s marching orders for CNN are to destroy the Trump presidency and relay a narrative—not objective news—to the public.
And, of course, Zucker has been following the growing insistence from the Trump campaign that Joe Biden stole this election by wielding a well-oiled and ubiquitous voter fraud machine. But Zucker was explicit in telling his minions at one editorial meeting how to play the story: it’s just another conspiracy theory, he muses, from that “useful idiot” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani who Zucker claims is spouting half-baked theories—just like that Hunter Biden story.
“On the Rudy Giuliani story, this is a really important story. It gets tied to the Hunter Biden email disinformation campaign. That’s the way we do this because it’s all tied and part-and-parcel of one. I know Washington is working on putting that all together,” he said. It’s an important story, of course, because it can be used to discredit the Trump campaign. Clearly, Zucker and CNN do not see their role as one of providing the news but of writing a narrative; that is why Giuliani “gets tied to the Hunter Biden” story. It is part of the CNN narrative that Trump and his supporters live in a nether world of conspiracy and half-truths.
While discussing the allegations of election fraud, Zucker calls Trump a “threat to national security” for even suggesting there were irregularities with voting.
In a rare moment of truth, Zucker unintentionally reveals the Achilles heel of CNN and most liberal outlets. Tut-tutting how Trump continues to exhibit a Teflon veneer for his supporters, for whom he can do no wrong, Zucker says: “Each of these so-called ‘scandals’ for Trump, each of these things—we should just once again be careful to say that this is the one that is going to undo him with his voters. We always think that, but we need to make sure we have a sense of what’s going on out in the country and not just listen to Twitter.”
But of course, CNN and its viewers have little to no idea what is going on in the country because people like Zucker are running the show.
CNN never understood Trump, never bothered to comprehend the dreadful “deplorables” who voted for him, and are certainly prepared to accept just about any outrage to democracy to ensure that President Trump does not stay in power. The network has studiously avoided any reporting of the Trump campaign’s efforts to prove voter fraud in the presidential election—except insofar as that reporting which makes Trump, Giuliani, or anyone else speaking for him appear as unqualified morons. And thanks to CNN and most reporting, Trump’s arguments did appear to be a dismal if frenetic waste of time.
But despite the liberal media’s best efforts, the tide may be turning in Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s admission late Thursday that he believes the signatures on ballots submitted in the state should be authenticated after the release of a video that certainly appears to show a suitcase of ballots appearing out of nowhere at a Georgia polling station.
It should be no surprise to learn that Zucker and his CNN team endlessly repeat Democratic talking points and matter of factly exhibit their brazen bias. But it is still nonetheless shocking to have the whole sordid show exposed for the world to see. If Zucker thinks Fox News and other conservative outlets are a danger to America, he has apparently long-forgotten (or just never understood) that journalists are supposed to at least seem objective in a democratic, pluralistic society, and not simply reflect the ideological minds of political acolytes.
Zucker’s marching orders for CNN are to destroy the Trump presidency and relay a narrative—not objective news—to the public. Zucker demonstrated that throughout the period that Project Veritas taped his editorial conferences. CNN has done so throughout the Trump presidency, and this was evident in its endless talk of Russia collusion hoaxes and baseless impeachment charges. But if that was their objective, then they should have said so. And if they are to remain nothing but a propaganda appendage for the Democratic Party, then they should own up to that too.