“The most trusted name in news” is having a bad week. With all of its recent experience covering “whistleblowers,” you would think CNN might be more prepared when confronted a few of their own.
Cary Poarch, a satellite upload technician who worked at CNN’s Washington Bureau as a contractor, wore a hidden camera and recorded hundreds of hours of footage of that workplace, including very frank discussions with several members of CNN’s staff. Poarch was also able to record several hours’ worth of “the 9:00am call” during which CNN President Jeff Zucker lays out the news agenda for the CNN staff.
Poarch is now releasing that footage via Project Veritas, a self-described guerilla-journalism organization, which is famous for undercover footage of ACORN and Planned Parenthood scandals and the recent release of documents revealing evidence of censorship of conservatives on social media.
Among the disturbing news found in the Project Veritas series is the admission by a CNN staffer that the network exhibits a racial bias in its coverage of shootings. In this video, media coordinator Christian Sierra lays out a scenario for Poarch. “Okay. Let’s say in Princeton. A white kid gets shot at Princeton University. He’s walking, he’s visiting his, his big brother who’s a student there, he gets shot in the head. He gets killed. We’re going to get coverage on that because, ‘Oh my God, we have to put [on] the precious little white boy."
When asked what happens when three people get shot in Newark, Sierra says simply, “Nobody cares.”
In the video, Sierra then clarifies what he believes CNN's position is: “I think that shootings in poorer areas or, um, minority communities don’t get as much coverage as if they were to happen in a white area.”
When pressed by Poarch whether that meant CNN would cover a mass shooting in a minority area the same as a white area, Sierra mused, “I think if, unless if we’re looking at mass, if you’re a mass shooting, like if it were twenty people killed, they would cover it. But if there were like two people killed, like in a gang related violence shooting, they’re not gonna really care.”
While Sierra’s admission is not really surprising, it does tend to confirm what many believe about CNN and, indeed, really all of our televised news products. Stories are picked based on the newsrooms’ agenda and on what type of stories drive ratings. So while gun violence in association with gangs and crime is a much bigger societal problem, what gets wall-to-wall coverage are mass shootings since they are good for ratings. It also shows that while CNN talks a good game about racism, it utterly ignores real problems in minority inner-city areas.
It’s a shame, too. Because constant network coverage of this type of gang violence might actually spur some change in the cities affected by it. A bright national spotlight on the plight of inner-city Chicago residents could create a national call-to-action.
Instead, the full videos released thus far by Project Veritas paint a picture of CNN president Jeff Zucker as a vicious, agenda-driven corporate autocrat who is using the network to grind his own personal ax.
Another media coordinator at the Washington Bureau, Nick Neville, put it this way when discussing Zucker’s laser focus on impeachment, “Yeah, because what’s difficult is like we have some conflicting things at play here.” The CNN staffer added, “Like, there’s a lot of people who are out here trying to do what they think is the best of journalistic integrity. Then you get on the 9:00am call and big boss, Jeff Zucker, fu****g tells you what to do.”
Jeff Zucker was one of the original executive producers of Donald Trump’s reality show The Apprentice. Owing to that, Zucker, it seems, feels responsible for the president’s popularity and his rise to the presidency. He has taken it upon himself to destroy the president with his network.
As it works toward that goal, it seems the network is destroying itself. And the rank-and-file employees of the company recognize it better than Zucker does. “I hate everything, how everything is like all Trump all the time now,” says Sierra. “Everyone at my job, everyone at the network complains about it. They, they hate covering Trump every day.”
Hopefully, those caught being honest about their network by Poarch and Project Veritas won’t be the ones to pay for their truth telling.