In a lengthy essay in The Intercept this past Saturday, Glenn Greenwald dives deep into a devastating failure on the part of CNN, MSNBC, and CBS over basic facts.
In short, CNN got the date wrong on a supposed “bombshell” email suggesting Trump-Russia collusion. Multiple other outlets repeated CNN’s story—all the while insisting that they had independently verified the facts themselves.
In other words, literal fake news.
CNN was also painfully slow in correcting their mistake, and is being less than clear about how they were able to make such a huge mistake in the first place. Greenwald criticizes the network for this lack of transparency at length:
“All of this prompts the glaring, obvious, and critical question—one which CNN refuses to address: how did ‘multiple sources’ all misread the date on this document, in exactly the same way, and toward the same end, and then feed this false information to CNN?
“It is, of course, completely plausible that one source might innocently misread a date on a document. But how is it remotely plausible that multiple sources could all innocently and in good faith misread the date in exactly the same way, all to cause to be disseminated a blockbuster revelation about Trump/Russia/WikiLeaks collusion? This is the critical question that CNN simply refuses to answer. In other words, CNN refuses to provide the most minimal transparency to enable the public to understand what happened here.”
President Trump was quick to criticize the media catastrophe, calling it “a stain on America”:
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 Major lies written, then forced to be withdrawn after they are exposed…a stain on America!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
Thanks to the wisdom of our Constitution, America has a free press. But does it have a responsible, credible press? Or do some members of the media merely take their marching orders from the Democrat party?
It certainly looked like that over the weekend.