A CNN staffer says COVID-19 is “gangbusters” for ratings – and describes receiving calls from the head of the network on a “special red phone” with directions to put the coronavirus death toll on screen because it’s the “most enticing” content.
“COVID? Gangbusters with ratings, right?” CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester said in the secretly recorded video released by Project Veritas.
“Which is why we constantly have the death toll on the side, which I have a major problem with, how we’re tallying how many people die every day because I’ve even looked at it and been like, look at it and be like, let’s make it higher.
“Like why isn’t it high enough?
“You know, today, like it would make our point better if it was higher.
“That’s a problem that we’re doing that.”
Mr Chester also spoke about how the head of the network directed staff to keep the COVID-19 death toll on the screen.
“I’ve been in the room many a times where my director tells me take it down and I take it down and then we get a phone call,” he said.
“Literally a red phone, like the special red phone rings.
“Every so often they put it on speaker and it’s like the head of the network being like ‘there’s nothing that you’re doing right now that makes me want to stick. Put the numbers back up because that’s the most enticing thing that we had.’”
Project Veritas Founder James O’Keefe spoke about the new clip and told Fox News there was a “cone of silence” from CNN after the release of a series of videos.
“This may be the most damning thing of all the things he said in this part two series,” Mr O’Keefe said.
“He implicates the head of the network.”
A day earlier, Project Veritas released a video of Mr Chester in which he said “if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out”.