There hasn’t been any certifiable or substantial evidence about Russia “hacking” the elections. The media and even American politicians have claimed that Russian hackers were responsible for leaking the DNC and John Podesta’s e-mails. However, both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange have both stated that Russia had no involvement with the e-mail leaks. Wikileaks and Reuters even proved that the CIA had framed Russia for various hack attacks in order to help buffer the media’s narrative. Well, hidden footage from a James O’Keefe investigation at Project Veritas has revealed that even mainstream media news organizations like CNN don’t actually believe the story about Russia rigging the elections.
In the first part of a series of videos detailing the inner workings of the mainstream media zeitgeist, Project Veritas released an eight minute video featuring CNN supervising producer, John Bonifield.
For the hearing impaired, Bonifield responds to the question about whether CNN pursuing the Russia story is “a little crazy”, stating…
“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. She didn’t play it right.”
In the video they bracket Hillary’s name next to “She”, indicating that Bonifield infers that Hillary didn’t play the game right.
Bonifield is then asked why CNN is so sedulous about Russia and reporting on it even while there isn’t much to actually report on. Bonifield responds…
“Because it’s ratings. […] Our ratings are incredible right now.”
“Yeah, so, my boss, I shouldn’t say this – my boss yesterday, we were having a discussion about this dental shoot he goes, he was like, ‘I just want you to know what we’re up against here’. 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 [Jeff Zucker] 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’.”
CNN did see a surge in news ahead of the general elections throughout 2016, covering the conventions and some of the more outrageous events leading up to the election season. The network also saw spikes in viewership – as pointed out in the Project Veritas video – when CNN covered Trump and the Russia angle. CNN’s climb in ratings was also subject for reporting over on Breitbart, where even they noticed a surge in attention that CNN was getting from the Russia angle.
According to Bonifield, this is all about the money. He explains…
“It’s a business. People are like ‘the media has an ethical–‘ [scoffs].
“But 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 views a night, cable news is getting a million. So 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.”
Bonifield also explained that CNN has a lot of liberal viewers who want to see Trump get scrutinized, something that he admits they wouldn’t do during the Obama administration.
But the real question was why is CNN still pursuing the Russia angle without proof? Bonifield is asked if there’s any substance to the story, and he responds as if the whole thing is frivolous, saying…
“It 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’ and you’re like… 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.”
“[…] I just refuse to believe that if they ha dsomething really good like that, that wouldn’t leak because we’ve been getting all these other leaks. So, 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 o say, like, look you are witch-hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.”
The CNN producer’s reluctance to support a story that his organization has been running for months on end since the elections last year speaks volumes to the state of today’s news journalism.
It’s not even just CNN, though. Sites like The Independent have matter-of-factly reported that Russians hacked the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections. Vox recently reported on June 13th, 2017 that Russians hacked voting systems in 39 states. Even the BBC joined in on the fray, reporting on June 21st, 2017 that Russia hacked 21 U.S., states during last year’s Presidential Election. All of these reports are based on claims that Russia hacked the elections, but no proof whatsoever has been offered up.
When Megyn Kelly from NBC News interviewed President Putin about Russia’s involvement with the elections and the claims about their meddling, Putin was taken aback, claiming that the whole thing was fabricated out of thin air.
Even go-to official “fact checking” website Snopes has been leery about wading into thoroughly fact-checking the claims since there’s still no clear evidence that Russia actually influenced the elections. The news media seems to be diving head-first into a shallow grave chasing the Russian angle.
For CNN this was a long walk off a short pier, as the unethical practice of fabricating news finally caught up with them after publishing an actual fake news story about Russia that had to be retracted. Following the retraction, three of CNN’s journalists ended up resigning, as reported by CNBC.
[Update:] CNN released a statement [via USA Today] indicating that they stand by Bonifield and that he won’t be reprimanded for his comments…
“CNN stands by our medical producer John Bonifield. Diversity of personal opinion is what makes CNN strong, we welcome it and embrace it,”