In what CNN employees are calling a "massive, massive f*ck up" according to BuzzFeed, CNN published a hit piece on President Trump and his associates, falsely claiming they were under Senate and Treasury investigation, citing one unnamed source. After Breitbart exposed the hit piece as "very fake news," and one of the victims of CNN's journalistic malpractice, Anthony Scaramucci, immediately assembled a legal, public relations, and rapid response team, CNN was forced to retract the entire piece.
The fall-out since Friday when they retracted the piece with a note that it "did not meet CNN's editorial standards," (stop laughing!) and that they had disabled all links to the fake news article, while issuing a public apology to Mr. Scaramucci, has been brutal, as other outlets have slammed them for 1) Publishing the article without verifying the information contained with in and 2) Deleting the story without explanation, which BuzzFeed's Jon Passantino and Jim Dalrymple, called a "serious lapse in journalistic ethics."
THE FALL OUT CONTINUES
Recent reports are now surfacing that the "one source" was a staffer for Senator Elizabeth Warren, who was reportedly "egged on" by a Senator Kamila Harris staffer, basically using the CNN "investigator" and writer Tom Franks as a useless fool in order to create fake news buzz against president Trump and his associates.
But now reports are surfacing that CNN’s sole source for the hit piece seems to have been a staffer for Warren who was apparently "egged on" by staff for Harris. Harris is a freshman Democrat Senator who has aligned herself with the Warren-led “resist” movement, using congressional hearings to increase her profile nationally by arguing with Trump administration officials. While Warren’s team is not responding, Harris’s office denies the reports.
Reports also state that CNN's president Jeff Zucker is supposedly personally involved in the internal investigation into the fake news scandal now engulfing CNN.
The writer Tom Franks, waited two days after publishing the hit piece that has now been retracted to issue a single tweet stating "For the sake of transparency, I am posting an editor's note from CNN concerning a story I posted on Thursday --," with a link to the CNN editors note about the retraction. He offered no personal apology to his readers, nor an explanation as to his lack of confirmation, or even basic research regarding his original piece, which can still be found on Google cache, despite the story being deleted, retracted and disappearing from the CNN website.
As is clearly evidenced by the reactions to Franks' tweet, the fall out over CNN publishing, then retracting and apologizing for the false report, is ongoing and brutal as comments range from calling #CNN an "enemy of the state," to demands for his resignation and/or firing.
Other reactions to that Franks' tweet including people asking "For the sake of transparency would you like to explain how/why you printed lies in the first place?," some accusing them having no integrity and no morals, with still others calling CNN the "keystone cops of corp media." Those are just the tip of the iceberg to the public's reaction to this latest in a long line of CNN screw ups.
The problem for CNN is that this isn't just one story that has been proven untrue, nor just one writer that got something wrong. Anyone that writes about current events makes mistakes, offers updates correcting any mistakes, issues an apology, and everyone moves on. CNN's problem is speaking about "editorial standards" when this is the second time in one month they have used unnamed sources and the entire story, headline and basis for the story has legitimately been "fake news."
The first 'fake news" story CNN put out was in early June, where right before former director James Comey was scheduled to testify to congress, CNN ran with a story that cited "sources" without naming them, claiming in their headline and story that Comey would "refute Trump" in his assertion that Comey had previously informed him three separate times that he was not personally under investigation. Comey's prepared statement was issued shortly after, where he confirmed Trump's assertion, even detailing the three dates he told President Trump he was not under investigation.
The CNN report said Comey was expected to dispute President Trump's claims that Comey said he was not under investigation on multiple occasions.
The report, titled "Comey expected to refute Trump," was based on unnamed sources and said Comey's conversations with the president "were much more nuanced," and that Trump drew the wrong conclusion.
The story was compiled by four CNN journalists, including Gloria Borger, Eric Lichtblau, Jake Tapper and Brian Rokus.
Borger reiterated the report's claims in an appearance on CNN on Tuesday. "Comey is going to dispute the president on this point if he’s asked about it by senators, and we have to assume that he will be," said Borger, the network's chief political analyst. "He will say he never assured Donald Trump that he was not under investigation, that that would have been improper for him to do so."
After Comey's prepared statement was released CNN changed their headline from "Comey expected to Refute Trump," to "Comey unlikely to judge on obstruction," and offered the following "CORRECTION AND UPDATE: This article was published before Comey released his prepared opening statement. The article and headline have been corrected to reflect that Comey does not directly dispute that Trump was told multiple times he was not under investigation in his prepared testimony released after this story was published."
In that case, rather than retracting and deleting their entire story, they simply went back, after the damage had been done, and changed the headline and rewrote the article, but the URL still accurately captures the "false narrative" they were originally pushing as it shows "http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/06/politics/comey-testimony-refute-trump-russian-investigation/"
The point here is it is not just Tom Franks, nor whoever was supposed to edit or check his work, but now we have five different CNN "reporters", Gloria Borger, Eric Lichtblau, Jake Tapper, Brian Rokusand Franks, that have published two separate "fake news" stories in just a single month, using unnamed sources.
They are not alone and that same congressional testimony indicated that the New York Times had also published an article that was "not true," and that other publications had reported "many dead wrong" articles in regards to Russia, all using anonymous sources.
Hence the DOJ statement that sent the media into a tailspin last week, where Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein warned the general public to "exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials'." Rosenstein went on to say "Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations."
This is not a case of "editorial standards" or simply a mistake on the part of CNN or other MSM outlets, this is a systematic attack against America, on the part of journalists within the MSM, where truth doesn't matter as long as their viral story of the day undermines the President of the United States and the nation he leads.