CNN has breathlessly covered purported allegations of sexual misconduct against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and the FBI investigation into said purported allegations, and now, thanks to Project Veritas, we know that a great deal of that coverage is driven by a desire to destroy Gaetz. CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester said the network is “going to keep running those stories to keep hurting him,” because “He’s a problem for the Democratic Party because he’s so conservative.”
As my colleague Bonchie covered, Chester said that CNN’s “focus” in the 2020 election “was to get Trump out of office” and that Chester and his colleagues were “more than keen to take credit for putting Joe Biden in the White House.” Chester even went so far as to add a bullet point to his now-deleted LinkedIn account claiming he “played an integral part in the 2020 Presidential elections.”
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) April 13, 2021
Hmm. Was that CNN’s role in that plan to “fortify” the Presidential election?
Project Veritas’ video also shows Chester being asked to define propaganda, and the example he uses is Gaetz.
“If the agenda say, is to get @mattgaetz right now, he’s like this Republican. He’s a problem for the Democratic Party…So we’re(@CNN) going to keep running these stories to keep hurting him.” pic.twitter.com/6Gjr8R7Eh5
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) April 13, 2021
Chester described how he believes that CNN’s coverage of Gaetz is propaganda:
If the agenda say, is to like get, like Matt Gaetz right now, he’s like this Republican. He’s a problem for the Democratic Party because he’s so conservative, right, and he can cause a lot of hiccups in passing of laws and what-not. So, it would be great for the Democratic Party to get him out.
So we’re gonna keep running those stories to keep hurting him and make it so that it can’t be buried and just like, you know, settled out of court. Just like, you know, if we keep pushing that, it’s helping us. That’s propaganda, because it’s helping us.
So a CNN Technical Director is admitting that the network is going to keep running stories that may or may not be true about Gaetz because “he can cause a lot of hiccups” and they want him to leave office, which begs the question (which we all know the answer to) — is the fortification still happening?
A scroll through CNN’s coverage of Gaetz seems to bear out Chester’s words. As Fox News writes:
CNN has given Gaetz’s political woes plenty of coverage, particularly on “Cuomo Prime Time” where anchor Chris Cuomo has been reporting on the latest developments extensively while avoiding the growing scandals plaguing his older brother, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. For his part, Andrew Cuomo has had nine women come forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct.
And everyone’s favorite Very Serious Journalist™, Brian Stelter, held a roundtable about how “investigative journalists” are driving the Gaetz story, calling it “a little bit of Investigative Journalism 101.”
— MediaREDEF (@MediaREDEF) April 11, 2021
Try to contain the eye-rolls and the gag reflex if you choose to watch.
That same day, CNN posted a “scoop” claiming that Gaetz had requested a meeting with Trump at Mar-a-Lago and was denied, citing anonymous sources. Almost immediately, people who would know went on the record on Twitter saying the story was false. But hey, if the network’s aim is to destroy Gaetz, it would be helpful to sow division between him and potential allies. They can create a story and a source out of thin air, then quietly “retract” it later if forced. In the meantime, though, it’s done its damage. Wednesday afternoon the Daily Caller published an exclusive showing that Gaetz’s lawyers sent a request for retraction Tuesday:
The story cited “two people familiar with the matter” and “Friends of Matt Gaetz Campaign Committee” lawyer Geoffrey R. Johnson slammed the network – in part for its use of anonymous sources – in a letter demanding a retraction.
“The April 11 story, like previous CNN stories about Rep. Gaetz, relies solely on anonymous sources, and propagates a false narrative that Rep. Gaetz is being isolated and abandoned by former supporters, including former-President Trump.”
Trump Senior Advisor Jason Miller also demanded a retraction, via Twitter.
This @CNN story is complete fake news.
No such scheduling or meeting request was ever made, and therefore, it could never have been declined.
Take note that this story has zero on-the-record sources. It’s literally made-up.
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) April 12, 2021
Hours after Project Veritas’ video was published, two CNN congressional correspondents had the chutzpah to ask Gaetz about the allegations against him as he left the Capitol, but Gaetz turned it around.
You refused to answer my questions about the Project Veritas video wherein your colleague details your network’s plot to attack me because I’m effective at blocking the Democrat agenda. #ExposeCNN https://t.co/qOLdpQFyX0
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) April 13, 2021
“Well, I think you can read my essay in the Washington Examiner. I think you can check out the work that your network has done to propagandize lies about me. I think that really ought to concern you, Manu. You’ve always considered yourself a real journalist, but that doesn’t strike me as real journalism.”
CNN’s response? To tweet it out and brand it as Gaetz dodging questions about the investigation as they continue using the exact propaganda tactic their producer outlined in the Project Veritas videos.