CNN & MSNBC refuse to provide any transparency on how they blew a major anti-trump story.
The headline image is from the BBC story Russia-Trump: Who's who in the drama to end all dramas?
The BBC names the key players, but it missed one: the media.
On December 9, Glen Greenwald at the Intercept reported The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages and Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened.
I covered the story in Trump Accuses CNN of Purposeful Fake News "Fraud on American Public".
In a nutshell, three news outlets, starting with CNN and followed by MSNBC broke a bombshell story on Trump that false. CBS jumped on the bandwagon but later blamed CNN.
Supposedly, multiple, credible sources said Trump had access to Wikileaks information on Russia before Wikileaks posted it.
The story timeline was false.
Days later, CNN refuses to disclose its sources or say what happened.
Greenwald blasted CNN in a Tweet again today...
Slate notes that because CNN & MSNBC completely refuse to provide even the most minimal transparency about how they got their big story so wrong, we still don't know the answer to the key question - and probably never will, since they're burying it: https://t.co/yGb8tEiNMb— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 12, 2017
How Did It Happen?
"None of the outlets disclosed anything about the identities and/or motivations of the sources - and there are supposedly at least two of them! - who made such a consequential error of reading comprehension.
Nor did any of them provide further information when I contacted them this afternoon asking whether they’d found out anything more about last week’s mysterious, sudden D.C.-wide inability to distinguish between 4 and 14," says the Slate, offering six possibilities.
- The outlets were relying on solid sources who all made the same honest mistake.
- The outlets were relying on secondhand sources who were just B.S.-ing the whole time and repeating a bad story that had gotten to them via a game of national security telephone.
- The outlets were relying on bad-faith sources who were intentionally trying to make the mainstream media look bad. (The Sept. 14 email in question is in the possession of the House Intelligence Committee; maybe some Trump loyalists on the committee pulled a James O’Keefe.)
- Only one source ever actually misread the date of the email; the rest of the sources that “confirmed” the story simply confirmed the existence of the email, not when it was sent. These “confirming” sources were then all conflated together by outlets overeager to rush out a big scoop.
- “Fake news.” (As in, the reporters made all of it up to GET TRUMP.)
Trump Blasted CNN
That Tweet was on the day it happened. Here are some followups.
I know you can’t help but spread #fakenews @cnn, but now that you know the truth you should have the decency to retract the false story, make the correction, take down the bs tweet, and apologize to the 2 or 3 people that still believe you to be credible #yourewelcome https://t.co/bjL6mSdaii— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 8, 2017
Trump on Fake News
Trump on Dumbest Man on Television
Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia - so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017
Trump on Coverup
Another false story, this time in the Failing @nytimes, that I watch 4-8 hours of television a day - Wrong! Also, I seldom, if ever, watch CNN or MSNBC, both of which I consider Fake News. I never watch Don Lemon, who I once called the “dumbest man on television!” Bad Reporting.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 11, 2017
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
The Slate writer opted for door number four. I suggest it's safe to rule out door number one, an honest mistake, and door number six, aliens.
After that, many combinations are possible.
But regardless of the answer, it's clear that CNN is willing to rush unconfirmed garbage to the press, from sources that are not exactly credible.