The rule of thumb for liberals in the media: When caught misreporting, don’t own up to it. Double down.
CNN came under heavy fire over the weekend for a mistaken report Friday that Donald Trump Jr. gave the House Intelligence Committee an email from a mysterious man named Mike Erickson, which included a link to a supposed preview of stolen DNC documents, along with a decryption key.
Hours later, The Washington Post discovered that the email was dated Septembr 14, 2016–not September 4, as CNN’s Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb reported. By September 14, the DNC documents in question had already been made public, meaning CNN’s “bombshell” report was essentially worthless.
Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” sells his show as an insider look at the media that keeps the press accountable.
But Stelter only briefly touched on his network’s lapse in credibility. He addressed CNN’s decision not to discipline Raju and Herb because “the reporters followed CNN’s standards process which means the sources they were using were vetted and okayed ahead of time. Now the sources have been reliable in the past. But they were not this time.”
Stelter acknowledged that the mistake “obviously caused a black eye for CNN.”
Stelter then spoke with Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein and anti-Trump writer David Frum, who took turns criticizing the president’s relationship with the media.
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) December 10, 2017
“Attacking the press is the basic element that too many demagogues in our culture have used to whip up this cold civil war, and especially to appeal to the base of the president of the United States,” Bernstein said.
Frum argued that mistakes by the press have been made while trying to be “fair” to President Trump.
“The worst mistakes that press organizations have made in their coverage of Trump has precisely occurred in their overzealous effort to be fair to the president” he said.
Frum also added that mistakes like CNN’s are “precisely the reason the people should trust the media.”
Stelter and his guests rebuked the president for his alleged lying, but didn’t press the CNN reporters for their negligent lack of fact-checking.
In response to the mistaken CNN report, Trump blasted the mainstream media.
Very little discussion of all the purposely false and defamatory stories put out this week by the Fake News Media. They are out of control – correct reporting means nothing to them. Major lies written, then forced to be withdrawn after they are exposed…a stain on America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2017
Many Americans joined with the president in censuring CNN.
American people want a retraction or CNN can take a hike! I like Fox News better!
— Edward S Bumgarner (@TexomaWriter44) December 11, 2017
Of course not! They don’t want to talk real news!
— John M. Gilbert (@johnmgilbert61) December 11, 2017
Every Sunday night, @cnn spins wheel to determine this weeks emotional focus: Russia, Trump Mental, Trump assaults via tape, Russia (more than one option), Twitter Meltdown, Trumps gonna Nuke us!!#Spin2Win #Spin4Spin save us @seanhannity
— SportsComedy (@DirtyMikes) December 11, 2017
— Celtic Crab (@crabbydick) December 11, 2017
Because it wasn’t s screw up it was on purpose!!!
— Lola Verita (@lola_verita) December 11, 2017