In the first installment of undercover video of CNN from guerrilla journalists at Project Veritas, employees of the network can be seen talking about CNN president Jeff Zucker’s hatred for and “personal vendetta” against President Donald Trump.
These statements were buttressed by staff phone calls featuring Zucker himself — a man who appears to be obsessed with the idea of impeachment.
“Jeff Zucker, basically president of CNN, has a personal vendetta against Trump,” Nick Neville, a CNN media coordinator, says in one of the undercover videos.
He says “there are a lot of people who are out here trying to, just do what they think is the best of journalistic integrity. And then you get on the 9 a.m. call and big boss, Jeff Zucker, f—ing tells you what to do.”
That 9 a.m. rundown call is basically the morning briefing from the top of the network on down to the lower levels. Some of these calls were recorded by Poarch and show a network president decidedly obsessed with taking down the actual president.
“I want to stay with this, our top, top — our own reporters, our own political analysts, the top, the top [unintelligible] we have,” Zucker says in one undated call.
“OK, so make sure we’re doing that. All these moves are moves towards impeachment. So, don’t — don’t lose sight of what the biggest story is.”
Zucker says in another: “I think what’s going on in America now is really fundamentally result of years of fake news, conspiracy nonsense from Fox News that has taken root in this country.”
“The fake conspiracy nonsense that Fox has spread for years is now deeply embedded in American society and at the highest levels of the Republican elected officials as we’ve seen … and frankly that is beyond destructive for America.”
Also, hope you don’t respect Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, because Zucker officially told people to stop liking him.
“I just wanna say on the Lindsey Graham front, I know that there’s a lot of people at CNN that are friendly with Lindsey Graham,” Zucker says in one call.
“Time to knock that off and it’s time to call him out.”
In the video, Neville claims the animus Zucker feels toward Trump may not be entirely political; the two haven’t gotten along since their time at NBC, where Zucker was an executive and the future president was hosting “The Apprentice.”
Or, perhaps it’s because CNN feels that it has to pay an act of penance for elevating Trump in the first place. Hiram Gonzalez, a CNN floor manager, says in one segment, “Between you and I, we created this monster and now we’re eating him full plate every single day. Media created the Trump monster.”
Another CNN media coordinator, Christian Sierra, made it clear none of the major hosts on the network like Trump (this includes, in case you were wondering, Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper).
Sierra also said CNN pulls their punches on Democrats and unloads on their GOP guests.
“MSNBC is tougher on Republicans, and we’re tough on the Republicans too,” Sierra says in the video.
“More than so than the Democrats. Our Democratic interviews are like softballs, compared to the Republicans … if you notice like every time, we ask questions to Republicans, like it’s always a little tougher than when we do get the Democrats.”
What we’re going to hear in the next couple of days is that Project Veritas somehow decontextualized these quotes and that it’s nothing more than an edited hit job. No one in the establishment media is going to cover this, instead opting to pretend it never happened.
For conservatives, however, this doesn’t provide a shock, but rather useful ammunition.
Even if you think the employee interviews were taken out of context, it’s difficult to say that what Zucker said on his morning calls was. If they released the entire transcript, I doubt his remarks would come across as any more measured than it does here.
No, it’s not a surprise. But it’s certainly nice to know how deep the bias goes — particularly now that the network is going to try to engineer how Americans feel about impeachment and Republicans on a 24-hour basis until the election comes.
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