Caught on a hidden camera, a CNN producer admitted the network’s focus on allegations that Donald Trump’s election campaign colluded with Russia is mostly for ratings, noting his mostly liberal audience wouldn’t have put up with that kind of treatment of former President Obama.
“I think there are a lot of liberal CNN viewers who want to see Trump really get scrutinized,” said CNN producer John Bonifield.
“And I think if we would have behaved that way with President Obama, and scrutinized everything that he was doing with as much scrutiny as we applied to Donald Trump, I think our viewers would have been turned off.
“I think they would have felt like we were attacking him. I think our viewers right now, I’m not saying our viewers are super liberals, I think there’s just a lot of them, and … Trump is good for business right now.”
The comments were caught on an undercover video made by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas.
Go now to WND’s Superstore for “American Greatness,” where Chris Buskirk and Seth Leibsohn explain how the conservative elite, Washington insiders and the mainstream media were completely out of touch with reality during the 2016 presidential election.
The organization, famous for its undercover videos exposing media and political corruption, went to CNN’s Atlanta headquarters for the conversations with Bonifield.
The CNN producer also admitted there’s no evidence to support the allegations of links between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
“It’s mostly bullsh– right now, like, we don’t have any big giant proof,” he said. “I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging.
“And so I think the president is probably right to say, like, look, you are witch-hunting me,” he continued. “Like, you have no smoking gun. You have no real proof.”
He said CNN CEO Jeff Zucker praised the crew for its coverage of the climate-accord issue, but then said, “We’re done with it, let’s get back to Russia.”
Trump has described CNN repeatedly as “fake news.”
O’Keefe explained that the video is the first in a series called “American Pravda.”
He noted CNN has mentioned “Russia” on air nearly 16,000 times since Trump’s inauguration.
The networks ratings have been higher this year, with the constant drumbeat on Russia, he said.
Explained Bonifield: “It’s a business. People are like the media has an ethical … all the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school, you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable.
“This is a business. Especially cable news. Cable news isn’t the New York Times. It’s not even like NBC News. … I mean, NBC News still gets 20 million viewers a night, cable news is getting a million.”
He continued: “They got to do what they got to do to make their money, I think. And so I love the news business, but I’m very cynical about it and at the same time so are most of my colleagues.”
Regarding Russia, he said, if there’s was evidence somewhere, it would soon be known.
“The way these leaks happen, they’d leak it. It’d leak. If it was something really good, it would leak,” he said.
See the video (Be aware off offensive language in the video):
It was reported Monday that three CNN employees handed in their resignations over a retracted story linking Trump to Russia.
CNN said it removed the article on Friday.
“In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignation of the employees involved in the story’s publication,” a network spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement.
The story, from reporter Thomas Frank, concerned an investigation into an investment fund in Russia “with possible ties to several Trump associates.”
CNN said its editorial processes were not followed.
The story had been based on a single anonymous source.
At the time, Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci, who was identified in the story, responded that he did “nothing wrong.”
Out of work were Frank, editor Eric Lichtblau and unit chief Lex Haris.
Trump’s response was to ask about “the other phony stories.”
“Wow, CNN had to retract big story on ‘Russia,’ with 3 employees forced to resign,” Trump tweeted. “What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!”
Wow, CNN had to retract big story on “Russia,” with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2017
Zucker just a few days earlier told PageSix: “CNN has been around for 37 years, our trustworthiness today is the same as it was a year ago, before people in high offices started questioning it. We know that through our own brand research. Just because somebody says you are not trustworthy, that doesn’t mean it is so … CNN’s brand equity is built over 37 years doing hard work in very dangerous places … those who rely on CNN trust CNN more than ever.”
Go now to WND’s Superstore for “American Greatness,” where Chris Buskirk and Seth Leibsohn explain how the conservative elite, Washington insiders, and the mainstream media were completely out of touch with reality during the 2016 presidential election cycle.