An ABC News correspondent and a news producer were secretly recorded by Project Veritas venting their frustrations over their network’s refusal to cover news that matters to voters and choosing instead to cover rumors about President Donald Trump and the impeachment.
The recording is available here.
The correspondent is David Wright, who was suspended Wednesday hours after the video was released, Fox News reported. He also described himself as a socialist. ABC News said he would be reassigned when he returned.
The producer is Andy Fies.
Project Veritas recorded the conversation during the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire.
Wright and Fies said they believe that the media do not care about understanding voters, arguing that the corporatization of media has significantly diminished the media’s ability to deliver valuable journalism to the public. They said that ABC News is making the same mistakes the network made in 2016.
Wright, who is a graduate from both Harvard and Oxford, spoke freely to the Veritas journalists about the current state of ABC News and the broader media landscape:
“We’re not disciplined enough to cut [Trump] off and we second-guess ourselves because we’re sensitive to the accusation that we’re in the tank for the Democrats. And so that enables them, and so we enable them. And every time we take the bait on it and that’s what he wants…it’s totally and abusive relationship. He’s [Trump’s] the nightmare spouse that you can’t win an argument with.”
“…with Trump we’re interested in three things: the outrage of the day, the investigation, and of the palace intrigue of who’s backstabbing whom. Beyond that, we don’t really cover the guy [Trump]…Who’s he [Trump] throwing out of the White House today?’ or ‘Who’s blowing the whistle and stabbing him [Trump] in the back?’”
“…we’re in this awkward moment, we have this f**king president, and we can’t figure out how to challenge him.”
“We don’t hold him [Trump] to account. We also don’t give him credit for what things he does do…I feel terrible about it. I feel that the truth suffers, the voters are poorly informed, and people also have the opportunity to tune into whatever they want to hear. And so it’s like there no upside in, or our bosses don’t see an upside in doing the job we’re supposed to do which is to speak truth to power and hold people to account.”
“…in television we’ve lost any sense of context and perspective and it’s just, the urgent moment, and the horse race and the outrage from Trump.”
“I think that we don’t have the bandwidth to give everybody (political candidates) a fair shot, and we should.”
“We’re all guilty of the same thing. I think that all of this big news organizations – I’m speaking about broadcast television. That’s all I’m speaking about. ABC, CBS, NBC.”
“We recognize that we are dinosaurs and in danger of dying. The big moment was Peter Jennings dying…but Peter [Jennings] held the line. And Ted Koppel held the line. After they went, it became much more, of a mish mosh…It became a profit center. A promotion center. Like now, you can’t watch Good Morning America without it being a Disney princess or a Marvel Avenger appearing. It’s all self-promotion… And promotion of the company and also promotion of individuals within the company, as opposed to the kind of dedication to the story and a commitment to promoting stories that we need to tell that are hard to tell.”
“I don’t think we’re terribly interested in voters. Like my coverage, this time, is very, very, very small. I’m doing stories for Nightline, that’s it.”
In a conversation between Veritas journalists, Wright and Fies, Fies voiced similar criticisms about where the media stands. He blasted New York elites for their obliviousness on Trump’s support, and also called out the media for not caring about issues that matter to voters:
FIES: “I mean the people in New York go and hangs out – I mean people in New York are constantly, I think, fascinated by; how can people like Donald Trump? How can people understand – you know, well f**k! Cross the Hudson now and then, and come out and spend some time, and you’ll hear why! You know? And I still think that we, we still don’t understand voters. Right?”
FIES: “So, you know, real people, you know, talk about practical issues, when they’re thinking about a candidate; ‘I want to go back to the workforce,’ or ‘I can’t afford childcare’ or ‘I need medical care for whatever.’ Those things aren’t TV-friendly. We want to focus on impeachment, we want to focus on the big sh*t going on, but the things that help people make up their minds are little sh*t.”
WRIGHT: “…in addition to the candidate of the week, we need the story to move on…so we’re happy to have Buttigieg be the story last week, and we’re happy to have Klobuchar as a new subject this week, and then when we’re tired of her, we’ll be delighted if Elizabeth Warren kicks ass in Nevada. Because then we have something new to talk about.”
WRIGHT: “It’s just the new – we just want conflict, we want urgency, we want now, we want to push- but showcase output and experience counts too.”
FIES: “Wait, when did we f**k up? Four years ago? Today?”
WRIGHT: “We f**ked up four years ago. And we’re f**king up in the same ways today. Would you agree?”
FIES: “No, I think we’re f**king up in a different way.”
WRIGHT: “How are we f**king up in a different way?”
FIES: “Well actually maybe you’re right. Maybe it is the same. Not giving candidates their due…”
WRIGHT: “Like doing the flavor of the month thing, flavor of the week.”
FIES: “Yeah, and horse racing.”
WRIGHT: “And horse racing.”
FIES: “It’s all about the f**king horse race. We can’t stop ourselves.”
Wright shares his motives for disliking President Trump:
JOURNALIST: “Would you consider yourself a Democratic Socialist?”
WRIGHT: “Oh yeah.”
JOURNALIST: “Good, yeah.”
WRIGHT: “Oh yeah. More than that I would consider myself a Socialist; like I think there should be national health insurance. I’m totally fine with reigning in corporations, I think there are too many billionaires, and I think there’s a wealth gap. That’s a problem.”
Project Veritas has a history of documenting liberal bias and wrongdoing in politics and Big Tech.
In 2019, Project Veritas exposed ABC News’ coverup of the Jeffrey Epstein situation.
Also, the organization video recorded Google executive Jen Gennai appearing to suggest that her company is working on preventing President Donald Trump from winning re-election, The Tennessee Star reported. She said the video was deceptively edited.
Project Veritas in October 2018 recorded campaign workers for Democrat Phil Bredesen, who was running for a U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee, admit he lied that if he were in Congress he would vote in favor of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court.
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