CNN is in trouble. Facing scandal Monday with the resignation of three staffers following the retraction of a story alleging ties between Russia and President Donald Trump's transition team, the broadcaster was hit with a second humiliating blow Tuesday, after a CNN producer was caught on camera admitting that the Russia-Trump narrative was "bullsh*t" used to score ratings.
Speaking to Russian media about the scandal, John Kiriakou, a former US intelligence officer turned whistleblower, explained that unfortunately, the blow to CNN's reputation following revelations of dishonesty and misreporting aren't going to stop the mainstream media's claims of collusion between Russia and President Trump.
"The dirty little secret of the American media is that it's all corporatist, it's all owned by gigantic companies and all they care about is the financial bottom line," Kiriakou said, speaking to RT.
"They have to be more and more explosive in their stories, and sometimes the truth gets lost in those stories," he added.
In his hidden camera interview with Project Veritas, CNN supervising producer John Bonifield admitted that the reason the broadcaster continues to circulate the Trump-Russia collusion story is that the story sells, lack of proof notwithstanding.
Boasting about the network's "incredible" ratings, Bonifield explained that CNN's goal was to make money, not conform to journalistic ethics standards. "All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school, you're like, 'that's adorable'…This is a business," he said.
Given the scandal rocking the broadcaster over its shoddy reporting, Kiriakou noted that CNN, "frankly, is going to have to explain itself. What we have is the FBI and the CIA and members of Congress essentially telling us to just take their word for it. We can't take their word for it, we need some evidence. And apparently even CNN has not received any evidence."
As far as Project Veritas' activist James O'Keefe's hidden camera video was concerned, Kiriakou stressed that while O'Keefe himself was "a very controversial figure," it's true that "if the information is true, the American people have the right to know it."
"So many of us in the former intelligence community – I'm talking about my colleagues in the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity – have been saying both in television and radio interviews and in writing, that we're just not seeing any evidence of collusion between President Trump and the Russian government or Russian hackers or any Russians at all," the observer noted.
Unfortunately, the observer emphasized that not only the mainstream media, but the Trump administration's political enemies in Washington, just can't seem to think up any way to attack him apart from made up claims about his Russia ties.
"There's this drumbeat here in Washington, that the only way to ruin President Trump is to tie him to the Russians. And I think the mainstream media, with the exception of Fox News, has latched onto that, and I think that many, many Democrats on Capitol Hill have also done the same," Kiriakou said.
Speaking to Radio Sputnik about the crisis now facing CNN, Dmitri Zhuravlev, the director of the Institute of Regional Problems, a Russian think tank, said that he actually sees grounds for the fiasco being the first step in turning the mainstream media narrative on Russia around.
CNN's position today, the analyst noted, consists of opposing Moscow over everything Russia does, and of searching for someone to blame for America's domestic political problems.
"This is very unfortunate," Zhuravlev stressed, "especially if we recall the role CNN played in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the agency covered the situation in the Soviet Union rather objectively, sometimes even taking up positions contrary to those of US leaders."
As far as the resignation of the staffers was concerned, the analyst noted that "if the situation has reached a stage where for the sake of objectivity it's necessary to dismiss employees, something is wrong. And maybe it's not about CNN, but the general climate in the US. The main thing now is to wait for the moment when a sense of objectivity wins out over the narrow-minded position which currently prevails. CNN can probably be characterized as the leading [US] news agency. If its position changes, it, like an icebreaker, will be followed by other US media in changing course," Zhuravlev concluded.