“It’s mostly bull***, right now,” said a CNN producer of “the Russia thing,” while being secretly recorded by a Project Veritas investigator.
Captured on video in an undercover investigation, CNN’s John Bonifield essentially acknowledged that intertwined narratives relating to Russia pushed by his employer and the broader left-wing news media amount to a hoax.
Since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, CNN has been a premier purveyor of a narrative framing last year’s presidential election as compromised by “election hacking” directed by the Russian state; Trump is cast as colluding with the Russian government, as a result of being compromised or purely in service of his political ambition. MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and various other left-wing and Democrat-aligned news media outlets have reinforced this narrative.
Jeff Zucker, President of CNN Worldwide, is directing his company’s furthering of the Russia-related narrative, added Bonifield.
Partial transcripts below.
Bonifield tentatively accepts the premises that Russian President Vladimir preferred Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton and directed a political subversion campaign toward that end:
PV JOURNALIST: So you believe the Russia thing is a little crazy, right?
BONIFIELD: Even if Russia was trying to swing an election, we try to swing their elections. Our CIA is doing shit all the time, we’re out there trying to manipulate governments.
You win because you know the game and you play it right. [Hillary Clinton] didn’t play it right.
PV JOURNALIST: Then why is CNN constantly, like, Russia this, Russia that?
BONIFIELD: Because it’s ratings.
Bonifield indirectly acknowledges that CNN staffers viewed the president’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords as a significant error, implying that he accepts the narrative of anthropogenic global warming (ubiquitously referred to as “climate change” by left-wing and Democrat-aligned news media outlets):
BONIFIELD: Yeah, so, my boss, I shouldn’t say this, my boss yesterday, we were having a discussion about this dental shoot and he goes, he’s like, “I just want you to know what we’re up against, here.” …
BONIFIELD: He goes, just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords, and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords and the CEO of CNN said in our internal meeting, he said, “Good job, everybody, covering the climate accords. But we’re done with it. Let’s get back to Russia.
PV JOURNALIST: The CEO?
BONIFIELD: Yeah. So even the climate accords, he was like, “Okay, a day or so, but we’re moving back to Russia.”
Bonifield expresses cynicism of an industry whose actors often present themselves as operating in good faith:
BONIFIELD: I love the news business, but I’m very cynical about it and at the same time so are most of my colleagues. I’m not alone.
Bonifield acknowledges CNN’s left-wing and partisan Democrat biases in its conduct, and its appeal to a mostly left-wing and partisan Democrat audience:
BONIFIELD: I think that there are a lot of like, liberal CNN viewers who want to see Trump really get scrutinized, 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 apply to Donald Trump, I think our viewers would’ve been turned off. I think they would have felt like we were attacking him. I think our viewers, right now, and I’m not saying all our viewers are like super liberals, I think there’s just a lot of them.
Bonifield acknowledges that the Russia-related narrative amounts to a hoax driven by the news media:
PV JOURNALIST: But honestly, you think the whole Russia shit is just bullshit?
BONIFIELD: Could be bullshit. I mean, it’s mostly bullshit, right now. Like we don’t have any big giant proof. But then they say, “Well, there’s still an investigation going on.” Yeah, I don’t know, if you were finding something, we would know about it.
The way these leaks happen, they’d leak it. It’d leak. If it was something really good, it would leak.
CNN’s most prominent personalities — Jim Acosta, Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper, Brian Stelter, and others — regularly present themselves as politically objective and non-partisan news media figures who professionally operate in good faith.
CNN also describes itself as “The Most Trusted Name In News.”
H/T James O’Keefe at Project Veritas
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.