A new video by Project Veritas appears to show CNN producer John Bonifield acknowledging that the network’s coverage of Russia is inspired more by ratings than the substance of the story. The video, like others by Project Veritas, is heavily edited, and it’s unclear exactly what the context of Bonifield’s remarks were. What is clear, though, is that Bonifield is already the target of a libel lawsuit filed by a Florida doctor over an allegedly false and defamatory CNN report from last year.
That lawsuit was brought by Dr. Michael Black, who claims that a 2015 CNN report, “Secret Deaths: CNN Finds High Surgical Death Rate for Children at a Florida Hospital” and a video segment titled, “The Hospital with a Serious Heart Problem,” gave false and misleading information regarding him and St. Mary’s Medical Center, where Black is head of pediatric cardiac surgery.
The lawsuit is against CNN, as well as Bonifield and his colleagues Anderson Cooper, Dana Ford, and Elizabeth Cohen, plus Kelly Robinson, allegedly a CNN source. It alleges that the CNN reports misrepresented facts in order to tell a story about how the infant mortality rate at St. Mary’s was unusually high, and portrayed Black in a negative light. The complaint says that CNN made “categorically and demonstrably false” statements about Black’s qualifications as a surgeon, as well as the mortality rates of his procedures.
The lawsuit accuses CNN of knowing that their statements were false because hospital CEO Davide Carbone told them so, months before CNN published their reports.
Black’s case is still ongoing, after a judge ruled in his favor on motions to dismiss.
Carbone also brought a related lawsuit against CNN (but not the individuals), which is still ongoing, after a judge denied CNN’s motion to dismiss.