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Congressman Biggs Calls on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Maloney to Investigate Shocking Bias at CNN

April 16, 2021
Press Release

Yesterday, Congressman Andy Biggs sent a letter to Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney urging her to open an investigation into recent Project Veritas videos showing a CNN employee boasting about the network’s pro-Biden coverage in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.

 

April 15, 2021

 

The Hon. Carolyn Maloney
Chairwoman
Committee on Oversight and Reform
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515


Dear Chairwoman Maloney:

I am greatly disturbed by recent undercover video clips released by the organization Project Veritas appearing to show a CNN Technical Director named Charlie Chester boasting that his employer worked to advance favorable coverage of then-candidate Joseph Biden at the expense of President Trump in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential campaign.

In the video clips, Mr. Chester is filmed making the following statements:

  • “Look what we did, we [CNN] got Trump out.  I am 100% going to say it, and I 100% believe if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out.  I came to CNN because I wanted to be part of that.”
  • We would always show shots of him [Biden] jogging and that [he’s] healthy, you know, and him in aviator shades. Like you paint him as a young geriatric.”
  • “I think there's a COVID fatigue. So, like whenever a new story comes up, they're [CNN’s] going to latch onto it. They've already announced in our office that once the public is -- will be open to it -- we're going to start focusing mainly on climate.”
  • “It’s going to be our [CNN’s] focus.  Like our focus was to get Trump out of office, right?  Without saying it, that’s what it was, right?...”
  • “It [COVID] will taper off to a point that it's not a problem anymore. Climate change can take years, so they'll [CNN will] probably be able to milk that quite a bit…Climate change is going to be the next COVID thing for CNN…Fear sells.” 
  • “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.”
  • “COVID? Gangbusters with ratings, right? Which is why we [CNN] constantly have the [COVID] death toll on the side, which I have a major problem with – with how we’re tallying how many people die every day.”
  • “Like, why isn’t it high enough, you know, today? Like it would make our point better if it was higher. And I’m like, what am I f***ing rallying for? That’s a problem that we’re doing that.”
  • “It's fear. Fear really drives numbers [TV ratings] … Fear is the thing that keeps you tuned in.”
  • “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.’”
  • “No one ever says those things out loud, but it's obvious based on the amount of stories that we [CNN] do. The fact that we have a segment called 'The Good Stuff', which is a feel-good thing, but it's a dedicated moment at the end to almost be the ice cream to alleviate everything that you've been through. Something sweet to end it with, because everything else is doom and gloom.”

These statements are appalling.  Although sadly unsurprising, it is nevertheless shocking to witness a CNN employee suggest his employer’s aim was to help President Biden win the 2020 election.   It is also heartbreaking to see anyone make light of a tragedy that has taken hundreds of thousands of American lives.

Millions of Americans receive their news from CNN every day.  If CNN is manipulating its viewers, that behavior is at very least unethical; if the network actually colluded with Biden campaign officials—a possibility hinted at in the Project Veritas videos—it may also have violated federal campaign law.  Either way, as a member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, I urge you to open an investigation into this matter as soon as possible.

Sincerely, 

Andy Biggs
Member of Congress