You actually believed CNN? Fake inaugural credentials, loaded handgun arrest was fear porn

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CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, a man known for his “incredibly premature” style of “journalism,” is under fire for doing what CNN seems to do best — spreading fake news and triggering unnecessary panic.

Around Saturday afternoon, Sciutto published an unconfirmed, unsubstantiated report to Twitter claiming U.S. Capitol Police had “arrested a Virginia man as he attempted to pass through a police checkpoint in downtown Washington Friday with fake inaugural credentials, a loaded handgun & over 500 rounds of ammunition.”

Sciutto’s report predictably triggered shrieks of fear among its readers.

Look:

But as tends to be often customary for CNN’s “reporting,” the report was false.

To its credit, The Washington Post, which has its own history of shoddy reporting, swooped in a couple hours later with the actual story.

It turns out the man, identified in court documents as Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, was a private security guard from Virginia who, far from approaching downtown D.C. with “fake inaugural credentials,” as Sciutto had falsely claimed, had simply lacked proper credentials.

“Beeler said he was given a credential by his employer, MVP Protective Services. … Beeler said he volunteered for a job in D.C. after a friend let him know of an overnight job with MVP to guard media equipment located at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue NW. He said the credential he was given had previously been enough to enter that area,” the Post reported.

“He said he has had numerous security assignments in the past, including working as a corrections officer and providing security for a Saudi Embassy property. A spokeswoman for Allied Universal Security Services confirmed that Beeler had worked for a smaller security company it acquired.”

What happened, according to the Post’s real (versus fake) report, is that after Capitol authorities determined Beeler’s credential wasn’t valid, they searched his vehicle and found a cache of ostensibly illegal weapons that he claims he’d simply forgotten to remove — and that he maintains he’s licensed to carry in his home state of Virginia.

“It was an honest mistake,” he told the Post.

Versus a dishonest mistake.

“In a tear-filled interview, he said he has spent the past week working as hired security in downtown Washington ahead of the inauguration. He said he forgot that his firearm was in his truck when he left his home in Virginia, where he said he has a license to carry,” the Post reported.

“He said he realized it was there halfway through his trip but that he was running late, so he didn’t turn around. He denied that he had the more than 500 rounds of ammunition listed in his arrest report.”

Upon finding his cache of weapons, Capitol authorities reportedly arrested Beeler “on charges of carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition.”

During his first hearing Saturday, however, neither the prosecutor nor the judge sought to hold him, instead choosing to release on personal recognizance — presumably because they realized he’s no threat.

“A person with knowledge of Beeler’s actions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is pending, said Beeler has no extremist ties, cooperated fully with law enforcement and was cleared from further investigation, except for the charge of violating District law by carrying a pistol without a license,” the Post reported.

After the Post’s report, Sciutto issued an unapologetic update:

The problem is that his report had already spread to every corner of the Internet, with the New York Daily News and a plethora of local stations having issued verbatim reports about the “fake inaugural credentials” that never were.

It’s for this reason that Sciutto came under fire, to which he responded by doing what CNN “journalists” seem to do best — blocking anyone who calls them out.

Look:

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Vivek Saxena

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