Tuesday, June 27, 2017

On CNN getting busted for its obsession with a non-story

Some bad karma at The Most Trusted Name in News.

There is the resignation of three staffers over the single-unnamed-source story:

Three CNN employees have handed in their resignations over a retracted story linking President Trump to Russia, the network announced Monday.
The article was removed from CNN.com on Friday after the network decided it could no longer stand by its reporting.
“In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignation of the employees involved in the story’s publication,” a network spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement.
On Thursday, CNN investigative reporter Thomas Frank published a story involving an investigation into a Russian investment fund with possible ties to several Trump associates.

According to the network, an internal investigation found that “some standard editorial processes were not followed when the article was published.”
Citing a single unnamed source, the story reported that Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.” 

The story, which only appeared on the network’s site, was quickly disputed on Friday, as one Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci — who was mentioned in the story — pushed back on  Frank’s reporting, insisting he “did nothing wrong.”

“Once it was determined that editorial processes were not followed, CNN deleted the story from CNN.com,” the network said Friday on its site. “Soon thereafter, the story was officially retracted and replaced with an editor’s note.”
The piece “did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted,” the note said. “Links to the story have been disabled.” 
CNN blamed the mistake on a “breakdown in editorial workflow,” explaining that that “these types of stories” did not go through the usual departments such as fact-checkers, journalism standards experts and lawyers.

The gaffe cost three employees their jobs: Frank, who wrote the story, Eric Lichtblau, a unit editor, and the person in charge of the unit, Lex Haris.
The network’s investigative unit was told during a meeting on Monday that the retraction did not necessarily mean the facts of the story were wrong. But, rather, “the story wasn’t solid enough to publish as-is,” according CNN.com. 

Alas, it appears a culture of obsession with trying to find something of substance tying Trump to Russia has permeated the atmosphere at the House That Ted Built:

Project Veritas has released a video of CNN Producer John Bonifield who was caught on hidden-camera admitting that there is no proof to CNN's Russia narrative. 
"I mean, it's mostly bullshit right now," Bonifield says. "Like, we don't have any giant proof."
He confirms that the driving factor at CNN is ratings:
"It's a business, people are like the media has an ethical phssssss... All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you're just like, that's adorable. That's adorable. This is a business."
According to the CNN Producer, business is booming. "Trump is good for business right now," he concluded.
Bonifield further goes on to explain that the instructions come straight from the top, citing the CEO, Jeff Zucker:
"Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords. And the CEO of CNN (Jeff Zucker) said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we're done with that, let's get back to Russia."
Bonifield also acknowledged: "I haven't seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime." He continues: 
"I just feel like they don't really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the President is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof."
The Trump-Russia obsession exemplifies the difference between conservative wariness of Trump (of the sort found here at LITD as well as Red State, and the writings of Ben Shapiro, Kevin Williamson, Jonah Goldberg, and Brittany Pounders, to name a few) and the Trump Derangement Syndrome that is a phenomenon of the Left. TDS types can't be bothered to spend more than a token amount of time engaging actual policy and personnel developments of the current administration. So white-hot is their hate that they pounce on anything that looks like a fast track to impeachment. They just want him gone, and now.

And while I find Trump's Twitter habit cringe-inducing for the way it puts his boneheadedness on full display, I have to say I got a little tickled at his response this morning to the troubles at CNN. Yes, "fake news!" is blunt to the point of boorishness, but here's an instance when the subject at hand is exactly that.

Another distinction between wary-of-Trump types on the Right and get-him-removed-right-now types on the Left is that the former see DJT as getting in the way of a coherent ideological message that ought to be coming through in this day of Republican dominance of federal and state government, while the latter has no message and no program beyond a dark nihilism, the demonstrable failure of redistribution, and infantile identity politics to offer the American people. If they didn't have Trump to hate and encourage the general public to hate, they would have nothing anybody besides their ate-up base wants to hear.

Maybe that goes a way toward explaining the extent of the cultural rot. Maybe there's been a silent majority consistently since the term was coined circa 1970 and its resilience engenders ever-greater frenzy on the part of those who cannot stand the thought of millions of citizens living like normal people.

And the thought of many of them being fine with DJT, boneheaded tweets and all, clouds the judgement of the deranged to the point of proving him correct in his use of the term "fake news!"

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