Most conservatives would love to be a fly on the wall of CNN's internal morning call. Now, thanks to James O'Keefe's latest sting operation, they can be! The Project Veritas founder spent two months listening into the network's anti-Trump meetings. And what he heard is exactly what you'd expect from a pillar of the fake news community: liberal propaganda masquerading as journalism.
In tape after tape, executives like Jeff Zucker sound more like the Democratic Party's hired guns than reporters. When the subject of Hunter Biden's scandal comes up in October, there isn't much debate about how to handle the damaging story. CNN won't. Anchor Jake Tapper brings up the issue like he's part of the Joe Biden debate prep team. "The right wing is going crazy with all sorts of allegations about Biden and his family. Too disgusting to repeat here... If Trump goes there, what should Biden do?" They consider that for a while and decide that regardless of what the candidate does, they'll ignore the emails the New York Post breaks. "I don't think that we should be repeating unsubstantiated smears just because the rightwing media suggests that we should," Zucker barks.
Earlier that month, the CNN boss put special effort into making the president's actions seem more "erratic" than usual. Don't "normalize" his behavior, Zucker insisted. "He is all over the place" from the COVID "steroids," the chief said, "and I think we need to lean into that." If we've made any mistake about the president, he went on, it's "that our banners have been too polite."
After the election, the network's misinformation machine kicked into high gear, taking every opportunity to legitimize Joe Biden's suspicious come-from-behind win. "News organizations have to be very careful... about not giving Donald Trump too much of a platform on his not conceding," they urged. Other calls urged the hosts to "go after Lindsey Graham, because he was helping to legitimize the Trump campaign's fraud claims. The message couldn't be clearer: ignore the election irregularities at all costs.
Finally, after weeks of listening in, O'Keefe unmuted himself. "Hey Jeff Zucker, are you there?" he asked. "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. Do you still feel you're the most trusted name in news, because I have to say from what I've been hearing on these phone calls, I don't know about that. And we got a lot of recordings that indicate that you're not really that independent of a journalist."
Zucker thanked him for his "comments" and told his team to hang up while they set up a new system. New system or no new system, the damage to CNN's credibility (what little there is) has already been done. James, who has more than enough material to draw out the pain, says he'll be releasing new content every day like a Christmas "advent calendar."
At the end of the day, none of this is all that shocking -- especially not in a country where nine percent of people trusted the media to begin with It does, however, confirm "a lot of suspicions," James argued. "To see the president of a media conglomerate barking orders at his reporters and journalists, telling them what to cover, what not to cover. That's not anything resembling journalism I know."