An incognito Project Veritas reporter recorded several conversations with CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester. The CCN news network’s top executive admits to using pandemic fear to keep ratings high, in addition to revealing the tactics used to manipulate his audience.

“It’s fear. Fear really drives numbers [TV ratings] … Fear is the thing that keeps you tuned in,” Chester says in one of the videos. 

The director also admits to using deaths to keep people glued to the TV: “COVID? Gangbusters with ratings, right? Which is why we [CNN] constantly have the [Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus or COVID] death toll on the side, which I have a major problem with—with how we’re tallying how many people die every day.”

When asked who makes those decisions, Chester explains that every moment the network’s director, Jeff Zucker, uses a special phone—red—and every time he doesn’t like something, that phone rings. 

“The special red phone rings, and this producer picks it up. You hear [murmurs], 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,'” Chester admits. 

The undercover reporter, to further make transparent CNN’s tactic to keep fear in its audience, asks him why they don’t put on the screen the number of people who have recovered from the CCP Virus, to which Chester replies, “Because it’s not scary. I just imagine that’s why they do it. Yeah. If it bleeds, it leads.” 

The ‘art’ of manipulation 

In one of the videos, the director explains the tactics CNN anchors use to manipulate the audience into forming specific ideas or concepts without thinking, without using their judgment.

“… 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,” the executive explains. 

To illustrate his point, Chester takes an example of a traffic accident. He explains that journalists, before people can think of anything, tell them that the cause of the accident was the traffic lights and the city’s lack of infrastructure, then directly ask people how they feel about the city’s infrastructure. In this way, they lead people to think about that point and install a narrative without them realizing it. 

“I think there’s an art to manipulation—Inflection, saying things twice—there’s little subtleties to how to manipulate people.”

James O’Keefe: the value of investigative journalism 

James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, recorded the presentation of the segments outside CNN’s New York offices and even went to confront Charlie Chester at a restaurant, asking him why he wouldn’t publicly admit to the things he said in the videos. Of course, the man didn’t answer his questions and ran away from the situation.

“Chester is fully aware of the power that CNN has over people. His words should caution people everywhere, who take the journalism at these corporations seriously,” O’Keefe said.

O’Keefe’s courage and righteousness in exposing CNN’s sham is the crème de la crème of investigative journalism. His work is a tipping point to wake up the audience of mainstream media outlets like CNN that they use as a news source to make up their minds.

The founder of Project Veritas leaves us curious about the following segment: “Now if you thought this was bad, stay tuned for the next one, because in the next one Chester gives us CNN’s roadmap to the ‘reality’ that they want you to believe.”