On Monday, Twitter CEO Elon Musk warned that he could slap CNN with a warning label, following a new report which alleged that the company prevented reporters from looking into the possibility of COVID-19 originating in a Chinese lab in Wuhan.
The news follows a bombshell report from the Wall Street Journal last week, which said that the Department of Energy now believes that the pandemic began as a result of a lab leak, which FBI director Christopher Wray later said that his agency agrees with.
One Twitter user asked Musk, “When are you going to label CNN as State Affiliated Media?”
“Good point,” Musk responded. “If an organization portrays itself as balanced, but is not, it should be labeled to inform the public.”
Twitter defines state-affiliated media as “outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution. Accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their prominent staff may be labeled.”
Earlier this week, Fox News reported that an insider at CNN revealed to them that the network’s former president, Jeff Zucker, ordered staffers not to investigate claims that the pandemic originated in a Chinese lab, claiming that the discussion would only serve as a “Trump talking point.”
“People are slowly waking up from the fog,” the insider told Fox News Digital. “It is kind of crazy that we didn’t chase it harder.”
Since Trump first announced that he intended to seek the presidency in 2015, CNN under Zucker pushed numerous accusations that were later proven false, misapplied or misrepresented facts, and omitted pertinent information on reports during and prior to his term in office.
When COVID-19 began to spread across the globe in 2020, several experts and outlets suggested that the virus may have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the central Chinese city. However, many of these reports were suppressed or denied by major media outlets, including CNN, where Zucker and other officials at the outlet attempted to debunk the narrative.
One of the most infamous of these attempts came from CNN’s Oliver Darcy, who published a story headlined, “Here’s how to debunk coronavirus misinformation and conspiracy theories from friends and family,” on March 28, 2020, which attempted to give the network’s declining audience advice on how to converse with family and friends who refused to believe the mainstream media’s take on COVID.
“While the coronavirus pandemic has isolated family and friends inside their homes, it has in many cases increased online or over-the-phone communication with loved ones,” Darcy wrote. “But, in some cases, relatives and friends share poor information – whether it is bad science related to how to prevent the virus, debunked rumors about cities being put on lockdown, or conspiracy theories about the origins of Covid-19.”
Darcy added the so-called misinformation related to a public health crisis poses a risk to those who fall victim to it.
Darcy wasn’t the only CNN source that denied the theory. CNN host Fareed Zakaria said during a broadcast that “the far right has now found its own virus conspiracy theory” when discussing the lab leak.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman appeared on CNN’s since-canceled “New Day“ to suggest the theory was political, due to the fact that former president Trump didn’t share any evidence of the disease beginning in a lab.
Additionally, disgraced former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo called the lab leak theory a distraction while former CNN correspondent John Harwood suggested the theory was a way for Trump to “deflect blame” from the performance of his administration.
Last year, Zucker resigned from his post following an internal investigation into Cuomo, which revealed that the former network president had an ongoing consensual relationship with top marketing officer Allison Gollust, which he had failed to disclose to the company.
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