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James O’Keefe, Ben Shapiro Discuss Impact Of Secret Recordings On CNN Leadership

"I think that’s just psychologically traumatizing to Jeff Zucker.”
Photo of James O'Keefe by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images / Photo of Ben Shapiro by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Getty Images: Mandel Ngan/AFP // Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket

James O’Keefe, the president and founder of Project Veritas, suspects that the impact of his secret recordings of CNN company calls and their slow, steady release is having a “traumatizing” effect on CNN President Jeff Zucker.

O’Keefe estimated the psychological impact of his recordings in a Wednesday interview with Ben Shapiro, editor emeritus of The Daily Wire and host of “The Ben Shapiro Show.”

O’Keefe released the first in a series of recordings of CNN conference calls on Tuesday and plans to release more “day-by-day.” O’Keefe recorded CNN’s company calls for two months before beginning to publish the recordings.

“I’ve been doing CNN exposes for years, and this is the first time they’ve really reacted to it. I mean, CNN corporate communications has put out a couple statements, and if you actually watch the video of me livestreaming, they were so taken aback. And that’s sort of the psychological aspect, too,” O’Keefe said discussing the impact of the recordings. “Now, I believe that they should be transparent. I don’t think they should be ashamed of anything they are saying right there on those calls.”

“But I think they are shaking in their boots, and just the fact that we have, you know, hundreds of hours of recordings and we are going to release them a little bit at a time – akin to a December Advent calendar, day-by-day – I think that’s just psychologically traumatizing to Jeff Zucker,” O’Keefe said.

O’Keefe gave no specifics of what is contained in future recordings that he will release, but O’Keefe said that what is contained in the recordings is not so much surprising as it is confirming what many have already suspected about CNN: it is a biased news organization.

“I don’t know if it will shock people because the chyrons on CNN are already so shocking. I don’t think people are going to go ‘Whoa!,’ but I do think it gives an insight. It kind of confirms suspicions about how the sausage is made; how the organization manufactures consent, to quote Noam Chomsky; how they tell people what the narrative is and what the story is; and that’s not journalism in my opinion. So I think it’s important work and hopefully it draws out more whistleblowers inside these companies to come out like the person who came to me inside CNN,” O’Keefe said.

On Tuesday, O’Keefe crashed the final conference call he recorded, confronting Zucker and informing him that Project Veritas has months of recording that the outlet intended to release in the coming days. Zucker quickly ended the call promising to set up a “new system” to speak with the company.

“It’s important that we hold accountable the mainstream media,” O’Keefe said on a livestream after Zucker hung up. “The media has to be held to account. They are hurting the American people with their lies, their innuendo, their slander, the defamation, the hyperbole and I think Mr. Zucker is shaking in his boots right now. I think he’s very afraid of what might be coming.”

Related: O’Keefe CNN Tapes: Execs Discussed Burying Hunter Biden Story, Advocated Helping Biden With Miami Cubans

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