The most important aspect of the Project Veritas/CNN Fake News sting is being overlooked; does the exposed behavior of CNN’s agenda-driven fake news campaign against Donald Trump rise to the level of legal libel, fraud, or perhaps even treason?
The CNN producer in question, John Bonifield, is caught on tape explaining to an undercover reporter that coverage of President Trump is being manipulated to feed the biases of CNN’s core audience of extreme leftists. He says that cable news is a business first and foremost, and that money is the driving force behind the narrative against the president.
On the surface, this is no surprise: all media conglomerates have shrunken budgets, threadbare news rooms, and reporters who do all their “research” by combing Twitter feeds. They survive only by pandering to niche audiences who possess limited spans of attention. This Clickbait Culture and the new yellow journalism was inevitable when the legacy print media morphed to mostly online content. It has infected almost the entire ideological spectrum of political reporting for almost two decades.
But what CNN has done goes far beyond recklessness; it is nearer to subversion. More on that below. Here’s what else we learned from Bonifield:
- CNN’s CEO, Jeffrey Zucker, told his journalists to drop coverage of the Paris Accords to get back on to the Russia narrative. Russia, Russia, Russia. 24/7. It was obviously being pushed as a narrative by upper management. This puts pressure on reporters to toe the line.
- Via Bonifield’s own admission, CNN’s editors are letting through news reports of Trump’s alleged collusion that have no basis in fact because their rabid audience wants it to be true.
- CNN has materially profited from these lies.
Willingly or unwillingly, CNN’s contingent of reporters are following those orders to release unsourced, poorly sourced, or outright fabricated news about a legally-elected president. They have tried their damnedest to place him in peril of impeachment as a result of their bogus reporting. Without the breathless fake news pushed by the Swamp Media to willing Establishment politicians, there would never have been the necessary impetus for the costly Special Counsel witch hunt.
They have also set into motion a false narrative that has undermined the relationship between the United States and Russia by limiting Trump’s maneuvers on the international chess board. For if Trump is seen to be fostering a peaceable stance with Vladimir Putin, the cacophony from the MSM will be so loud as to drown out any merits to such an alliance.
Ultimately, they have established a calculated corporate agenda to cater to their audience’s biases, truth-be-damned, for ratings and, ultimately, dollars.
From the day Donald Trump was inaugurated they have crossed over from sensationalism and poor judgment straight into libel.
In New York Times v. Sullivan (1964), the Court ruled that factual errors alone were not sufficient to prove libel. The Court held that to win a libel case, the public official had to prove that the information was published with actual malice—that the publisher either knew that it was false or recklessly disregarded whether it was true or not. In later cases, the Court extended the actual malice test to other public figures, such as celebrities. – Hippocampus.org
Actual malice. Reckless disregard for veracity. It would be a compelling case.
We all suspected it before, but this video is damning. I am not a lawyer so I have no idea whether the tapes would be considered admissible evidence – I suspect it would not – but it seems a steppingstone for an investigation. The free press has many protections, and the rightfully, but libel and lying for money are not among them.
Now, here is the Black’s Law Dictionary definition of legal fraud:
Fraud consists of some deceitful practice or willful device, resorted to with intent to deprive another of his right, or in some manner to do him an injury. As distinguished from negligence, it is always positive, intentional. Maher v. Hibernia Ins. Co.,67 N. Y. 292; Alexander v. Church, 53 Conn. 501, 4 Atl. 103; Studer v. Bleistein. 115 N.Y. 31G, 22 X. E. 243, 7 L. R. A. 702; Moore v. Crawford, 130 U. S. 122, 9 Sup. Ct. 447,32 L. Ed. 878; Fechheimer v. Baum (C. C.) 37 Fed. 167; U. S. v. Beach (D. C.) 71 Fed.160; Gardner v. Ileartt, 3 Denio (N. Y.) 232; Monroe Mercantile Co. v. Arnold, 108 Ga. 449, 34 S. E. 176.Fraud, as applied to contracts, is the cause of an error bearing on a material part of the contract, created or continued by artifice, with design to obtain some unjust advantage to the one party, or to cause an inconvenience or loss to the other. Civil Code La. art. 1S47. Fraud, In the sense of a court of equity, properly Includes all acts, omissions, and concealments which involve a breach of legal or equitable duty, trust, or confidence justly reposed, and are injurious to another, or by which an undue and unconscientious advantage is taken of another. 1 Story, Eq. Jur.
Deceitful practice by CNN? Check.
In some manner to do an injury to their target, the sitting President of the United States? Check.
Intent? Oh yeah. On tape.
How about high treason? Let’s check out the definition of this one:
Here is the section I presume pertains to the press from S 2385 of the Smith Act:
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so…
It would seem the subversion was more in spirit than by force or violence. But I will leave that to the experts.
Regardless, CNN has been so reckless – and borderline seditious – in its attempts to undermine a duly-elected President that one has to believe those in the Oval Office are looking into all options. Our country cannot function when such abuses go unchallenged.
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