A stunning story surfaced this week as hidden camera footage apparently showed CNN executives including network boss Jeff Zucker verify claims of bias against President Donald Trump. The president has long accused this AT&T-owned media outlet of inherent political bias. Trump even called for a boycott of the corporate giant in early June. Along with attempting to block the $85 billion AT&T acquisition of Time Warner, until judges with U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down a spirited challenge by Trump’s Justice Department eight months ago. Fake news actually may be a real thing.
A series of secret video clips were allegedly shot by whistleblower Cary Poarch a satellite uplink technician at CNN’s Washington, D.C. bureau. The former contractor in collaboration with activist James O’Keefe and his non-profit advocacy group Project Veritas leaked the film on Monday. Part of that features a morning call with Zucker. Who seemingly got pinched while trying to shape the narrative quoted saying “Let’s just stay very focused on impeachment.” That objective supposedly cast a large shadow over separate but equally significant world events. With CNN Media Coordinator Nick Neville evidently confessing that “basically the president of CNN has a personal vendetta against Trump.” As well as a clip where Zucker makes disparaging remarks about rival station Fox News. “The fake conspiracy nonsense that Fox has spread for years is now deeply embedded in American society, and frankly that is beyond destructive for America. And I do not think we should be scared to say so.”
In addition the network bias purportedly goes far beyond politics even to a point of extreme racial prejudice. As fellow CNN Media Coordinator Christian Sierra basically admitted there is a latent discrimination when curating newsworthy pieces to air. The following bit also featuring Sierra states “I think that shootings in poorer areas or, um, minority communities don’t get as much coverage as if they were to happen in a white area.” An arresting development no doubt. So what can they ever say to justify this kind of chicanery?
The next day Project Veritas posted a piece beginning with CNN leadership and staffers who reveal their own true sentiments. That consisting of CNN Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez who says, “Joe Biden has a problem. Because his son was trading in his name. It looks bad. It smells bad.” Neville adds “People would change the channel” if network broadcasted a Biden rally.” Then Sierra declares CNN coverage has been “less fair to Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar.” And further concluded in particular they do prefer the leading presidential prospects. Adding they seem to favor Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
When asked of Zucker’s choice for president, Sierra conceded that he wasn’t exactly sure. However the staffer would curiously claim that Zucker had previously donated to Kamala Harris campaign for Senate. Yet still supports South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg plus Biden and Warren. Beyond that Zucker speaks candidly on California Senator Kamala Harris and her shaky candidacy. CNN VP and Political Director David Chalian comments on surprise candidate Andrew Yang’s place in the race. Poarch bemoans the sad state of affairs. He notes a culture of intolerance mainly with regard to political affiliation within the organization. The informant making one thing clear “I just want us to have a free and fair election.”
On Wednesday a new installment with Sierra tells a frightening tale of Zucker and his antics. More specifically he recalls an incident as anchor Jake Tapper interviewed counselor to the president KellyAnne Conway. “Jeff Zucker goes into the control room while Jake Tapper is interviewing Kellyanne Conway…Zucker orders Tapper: “Keep going, keep going, keep going!” and tells the Executive Producer to skip commercials, extend 7-minute interview to 25 minutes…Sierra on Zucker’s control room command: “Just f**king nail her!”Zucker personally ordered CNN host Jake Tapper to press Kellyanne Conway in a live TV interview. Tapper confirmed as much to NPR on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross.
The last episode shows Patrick Davis, Manager of Field Operations at CNN. Like Poarch, Davis laments the current culture as being contaminated straight from the top. As he assigns the ultimate blame on channel chief Zucker. Scott Garber, Senior Field Engineer at CNN stated “We used to cover news. We used to go out and do stories…But Trump is more important.” CNN Technical Operations Supervisor Adia Jacobs agreed. That belief shared by Neville, Floor Manager Mike Brevna and Field Production Supervisor Gerald Sisnette. Although Sisnette then shockingly took things another step “The only way this will go away is when he (Trump) dies. Hopefully soon.” Very unsettling to see such a thing.
To close Sierra surmises that “conflict is what sells.” Poarch pines for a renewed commitment to neutrality and objectivity in reporting; not simply at CNN but across the board. This could be a good start.