- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Clearly CNN is committed to providing wall-to-wall coverage of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump, but it appears that CEO Jeffrey Zucker also wants the network to counter those who challenge the probe.

In an undercover audio released Wednesday to Project Veritas, Mr. Zucker can be heard exhorting staffers on the daily “rundown call” to be “fully committed” to the impeachment story, calling it “unbelievably important and unbelievably significant,” and that, “I don’t want to be afraid to say that.”

“And I also don’t want to be afraid to call out those who are covering it up and obfuscating, and coming out and saying there’s nothing to see here, because they’re lying, okay?” said Mr. Zucker in the audio.

Does that include Republicans who have accused House Democrats of mounting a partisan, unwarranted crusade to reverse the results of the 2016 presidential election? Mr. Zucker didn’t say, but his comments raised questions about whether CNN plans to treat anyone who challenges the impeachment push as a liar.

Virtually all national news outlets have covered heavily the Democratic impeachment inquiry, including CNN, which positioned itself as a leading source for impeachment news with a digital ad Wednesday touting its “up to the minute breaking news and analysis” and a dedicated web link.

“Finally, look, we are at an incredibly important time in history and in this country,” said Mr. Zucker on the recording. “And this is the story, okay? And I don’t want to be distracted by other things. This is it. And I want to be fully committed to it and not take our eyes off this ball.”

Project Veritas said the undercover recordings, part of its #ExposeCNN series, were made by “CNN insider” Cary Poarch, a contract satellite technician who left the network this week after the first videos were posted.

CNN has dismissed the investigation, noting that the media coordinators featured in the hidden-camera videos are not reporters. The network has been accused of harboring a left-tilting, anti-Trump bias, while Mr. Zucker said in December that CNN was not “anti-Trump” but “pro-truth.”

A GoFundMe account for Mr. Poarch had raised $95,500 of its $100,000 goal as of Wednesday afternoon.

Mr. Trump weighed in Tuesday on the undercover investigation, tweeting, “Now that we have found out that @CNN is a virtual fraud, rumor has it that Jeff Zucker will be resigning momentarily?”

CNN spokesman Matt Dornic responded by tweeting, “lol,” which stands for “laugh out loud.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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