A video capturing admissions of systemic propaganda by a senior official in CNN may strike a familiar note with Irish media observers: what he describes can seem similar to how news is delivered by Ireland’s national and corporate media.
Undercover journalists working with Project Veritas, released two videos (with more to come) of CNN Technical Director, Charlie Chester, where Chester describes CNN’s own reporting as ‘propaganda’.
Chester also boasted that the way in which they present this propaganda “changes the world.”
Chester describes tactics that include carefully selecting the experts that back up their desired narrative; constantly stoking fear, “if it bleeds it leads”, and manufacturing news out of nothing: “we were creating a story there, that we didn¹t know anything about”.
“I think that¹s propaganda,” Chester admitted.
Observers will note that a tactic used by CNN is to always accept the statements of their compliant “expert commentators” and to undermine the credibility of ones who counter their narrative.
It brings to mind the ‘no-platforming’ of scientific and medical experts here who disagree with the lockdown, to the point where even pre-eminent international experts are ignored.
But CNN’s tactics, according to their own staff, shape the results of elections.
In the first video released by Project Veritas, CNN Technical Director, Charlie Chester says their favourable fluff reporting on Joe Biden got him elected.
“Our focus was to get Trump out of office, right? Without saying it, that’s what it was, right?” he says. Misreporting and even false reporting in this country has also changed the results of elections.
And as for CNN’s next project?
Chester: “So our next thing is going to be for climate change awareness. Fear sells!”
In the second Project Veritas video from this undercover investigation, Chester talks about their Covid propaganda.
Taking a few of the tactics and methods Chester admitted to, they sound very familiar to how the corporate and national media in Ireland operate.
For instance Chester talked about the fear manipulation of the never ending display of Covid death counts. “It’s fear. Fear really drives numbers [TV ratings] Fear is the thing that keeps you tuned in.”
Chester elaborated a lot about how important the death count was in stoking fear and keeping eyeballs watching. If the daily death count wasn¹t visible on the screen he says: “The special red phone rings and this producer picks it up, and every so often they put it on speaker and it’s the head of the network being like, ‘There’s nothing that you’re doing right now that makes me want to stick. Put the [COVID death toll] numbers back up, because that’s the most enticing thing that we had. So, put it back up.”
Explaining the logic, Chester said “Like, why isn¹t it high enough, you know, today? Like it would make our point better if it was higher.”
Even Chester wondered at the morality of rooting for higher death counts – though he pointed out he was glad he had the job.
Chester candidly admits that, “no one ever says those things out loud, but it’s obvious”.
That’s Chester admitting that ratings were the reason that they continually and ghoulishly focused on death tolls. The constant drip of “how many have died today” keeps eyes on the screen and keeps a terrorized audience rooting for more lockdown. It¹s a tactic that practically every corporate media in the world have adopted and benefited from. Last year RTE made a profit, for the first time in years.
Chester admits that repeating the message ad-nauseam is part of the tactic.
Chester: “I think there¹s an art to manipulation/Inflection, saying things twice — there’s little subtleties to how to manipulate people…I mean, it’s enough to change the world, you know?”
And to top it all off, Chester explains how the propaganda is constructed by controlling the conversation.
Chester: “Any reporter on CNN — what they’re actually doing is they’re telling the person what to say. It’s always like leading them in a direction before they even open their mouths. The only people that we [CNN] will let on the air, for the most part, are people that have a proven track record of taking the bait.”