Back when she was Martha Bradlee of Ch. 5, Martha Raddatz of ABC News used to remind me and Andy Hiller, “We are not reporters, we are TV reporters. We are not in news, we are in TV news.”

True enough. And now, all these years later, it appears that in addition to news and TV news, there is now a third category — CNN news.

Or, as the president would say, “Very Fake News.”

Could they sink any lower? And now, after being busted on one bogus story after another these last few months, a senior producer has been caught on tape admitting that the whole “Russian collusion” story is, as he put it, “BS … a witch hunt.”

The producer, John Bonifield, bragged, “The ratings are incredible.”

Which CNN reinforced yesterday by tweeting back at the president, “CNN just posted it’s (sic) most watched second quarter in history.”

Uh, up to a point, as Joe Concha of told me yesterday.

“They’re up, but they’re still a very distant third in a three-way race. It’s Russia-Russia-Russia but they still can’t get a million viewers in prime time. Their ratings are right there in Megyn Kelly territory.”

The web outfit that recorded the unfortunate CNN producer calls his employer “American Pravda” — which is really not fair to Pravda. Pravda never had a run of fake news like CNN. How do you know when CNN is running fake news? By the number of bylines.

Take the most recent retracted Russian collusion story, shot down by a Russkie outlet called Sputnik News. (You can’t make this stuff up, unless of course you’re CNN.) They fired the three pipe artists who concocted it — one source, three “reporters.”

That fake news about how ex-FBI director James Comey was going to “refute” Trump on the issue of being told three different times he was not under investigation. Three reporters to come up with another completely fake story.

As the slogan says, This is CNN.

The compounding problem for CNN is that most of their “talent” is below average. It takes brains to put across a lie convincingly. Consider anchor cupcake Brooke Baldwin. She recently announced on-air that Congress has term limits. Then there’s Chris Cuomo, puffing up his chest about the dodgy dossier, assuring his dozens of morning viewers:

“Remember, it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents. It’s different for the media. So everything you learn about this, you’re learning from us.”

Now that CNN has been shamed into firing the three frauds who concocted last week’s fake collusion news, the end must be near for the busted producer, Bonifield. I knew he was doomed when I saw the cup Bonifield was holding in the Project Veritas video.

It was from Chick-fil-A. In the PC-uber-alles orthodoxy of Very Fake News, that is truly verboten. Making up fake news will get you a promotion at CNN. Get caught eating at Chick-fil-A and you’re fired — unless you can convince Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin made you do it.

Buy Howie’s new book, “Kennedy Babylon: A Century of Scandal and Depravity,” at


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