Home > CNN, Fake News, WORLD NEWS > CNN Media Panel: Our Fake News Stories Are Why You Should Trust Us

CNN Media Panel: Our Fake News Stories Are Why You Should Trust Us

In one of the most asinine discussions about the liberal media’s credibility problem, CNN host Brian Stelter took to Reliable Sources on Sunday to defend his outlet and the rest of the media for the latest swarm of fake news stories plaguing the country. And offering no apology to the public for muddying the discourse, Stelter defended their precious anonymous sources while his guests claimed such reckless mistakes were why the public should trust what they say.

Stelter began the segment with a recap of what was fake about their story. “With ABC’s suspension of Ross still in the headlines, I asked CNN if there would be disciplinary action against [Manu] Raju or his co-writer Jeremy Herb. A spokeswoman said no,” he said. According to Stelter, it was because the journalists followed the networks so-called “standards process.” But Stelter failed to mention that those writers issued the report without ever seeing the e-mail in question, just the description from those who saw it. What kind of ridiculous standard is that?

Now the sources have been reliable in the past. But they were not this time. The spokeswoman said CNN had no reason to believe this was malicious, meaning the sources weren’t trying to trick the reporters, the sources were just mistaken,” Stelter explained, defending the dead wrong source. And almost as though he was trying to get the attention off of CNN, he pointed to other news organizations that had pushed their own fake news.

Stelter didn’t seem bothered by the fact that CNN’s lack of transparency in sorting out the misinformation was further hurting their already tattered credibility.

The first guest to sing the praises of the media was veteran reporter Carl Bernstein. “We have to get back to the notion that — which is absolutely correct, that most of the media really tries, the mainstream media – the big news institutions from The Washington Post and The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal to CNN really go out of their way to be accurate, factual, contextual and we do and we have done a pretty good job of it,” he rambled.

Stelter then asked former Republican David Frum about what advice he had for viewers during this trying time for the press. According to him, their factious reporting was just why they should be trusted:

 

 

I would say, the mistakes are precisely the reason the people should trust the media. Look, astronomers make mistakes all the time because science is a process of discovery of truth. Astrologers never make mistakes or at least they never own up to them, because what they are offering a closed system of ideology and propaganda.

Using Frum’s warped logic, cheating on your spouse is precisely the reason they should trust you in the future. Use at your own risk.

Not long after that, Bernstein praised the media’s ravenous reporting on the Russia investigation saying: “The general excellence of the media’s coverage particularly of Donald Trump, his presidency, and this story.” He then trashed Trump supporters for not being open-minded enough to see a possibility of collusion.

The media, generally speaking, the mainstream media makes far fewer errors than most institutions in our culture, because we indeed are in the business of trying not to make errors,” Bernstein opined, citing no evidence. “And we have all kinds of procedures in place to keep us from making those errors.” But that apparently didn’t stop any of these new outlets from pushing false stories. CBS had actually claimed to have confirmed CNN’s false report.

For some reason, Frum was fuming and decided to smear Fox News as a news organization that didn’t have an interest in finding the truth. And in a knock against the rest of the media, Frum declared that “the worst mistakes that press organizations have made in the coverage of Trump has precisely occurred in their effort — their overzealous effort to be fair to the President.” He actually stopped himself mid-sentence to go back and add “overzealous” as a descriptor. What news was he watching?

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Frum also claimed that CNN’s biggest mistake so far was in hiring Trump supporters to be commentators. “The worst mistake CNN has made had been the result determination to bring in-house Trump associates in order to promote Trump falsehoods,” he chided. But to Stelter’s credit, he defended them, saying he thought it was important to hear their voices.

Despite the flood of fake news stories from the liberal media, Stelter had been on Twitter whining about how the President continued to call out CNN and others during rallies. You have no legs to stand on and complain about the President when you own news outlet was caught peddling false information as a bombshell report.

Transcript below:

CNN
Reliable Sources
December 10, 2017
11:14:20 AM Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: A week ago it was Brian Ross and ABC. Ross was suspended for a breaking news report about Michael Flynn that had not been fully vetted by the network ahead of time and since then several more mistakes by other media outlets have caused a lot of introspection in newsrooms. On Friday, CNN gave lots of airtime to an exclusive report that said: Then-candidate Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr. had received an e-mail in September of 2016 providing a description key and web access allowing them to access hacked DNC documents before they were publicly available. Now, later that afternoon the story unraveled. CNN issued Manu Raju went on Brooke Baldwin’s show to issue this correction.

(…)

STELTER: It changed the understanding quite a bit. With ABC’s suspension of Ross still in the headlines, I asked CNN if there would be disciplinary action against Raju or his co-writer Jeremy Herb. A spokeswoman said no. Because the reporters followed CNN’s standards process which means that the anonymous sources they were using for the story were vetted and okayed ahead of time.

Now the sources have been reliable in the past. But they were not this time. The spokeswoman said CNN had no reason to believe this was malicious, meaning the sources weren’t trying to trick the reporters, the sources were just mistaken. But that mistake obviously caused a black eye for CNN. On Friday night President Trump seized on the recent corrections at a rally in Florida.

(…)

STELTER: Technically CNN did not apologize but did correct the reporting. CBS also issued a correction for the same story. And this was not the only error of the week. Did you hear about Robert Mueller’s team subpoenaing Trump’s bank records Deutsche Bank? Bloomberg and Reuters had to issues corrections, saying the documents that were subpoenaed pertained to people or entities affiliated with Trump, not the President individually. Now that is still a big development. But it’s not what the news outlets originally said. The Wall Street Journal got it right in the text of their story but misconstrued it in the headline so they had to run a correction as well. These errors have piled up this week. There’s a new one this weekend involving The Washington Post we’ll get into.

(…)

11:19:00 AM Eastern

CARL BERNSTEIN: We have to get back to the notion that — which is absolutely correct, that most of the media really tries, the mainstream media – the big news institutions from The Washington Post and The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal to CNN really go out of their way to be accurate, factual, contextual and we do and we have done a pretty good job of it. I would say, by and large, an excellent job of it in terms of the facts of this hugely complicated story.

(…)

STELTER: David, what’s your advice for journalists in this situation and for readers?

DAVID FRUM: I have more advice for readers. You asked the question, Brian, why should, given these mistakes, why should people trust the media? I would say, the mistakes are precisely the reason the people should trust the media. Look, astronomers make mistakes all the time because science is a process of discovery of truth. Astrologers never make mistakes or at least they never own up to them, because what they are offering a closed system of ideology and propaganda.

11:23:10 AM Eastern

BERNSTEIN: Mike Allen is right about the general excellence of the media’s coverage particularly of Donald Trump, his presidency, and this story. I think it’s very important if open-minded people and that’s what we seem to be lacking on both sides but especially Trump supporters here. And let’s say that that is the fact especially among Trump supporters about open-mindedness. The media, generally speaking, the mainstream media makes far fewer errors than most institutions in our culture, because we indeed are in the business of trying not to make errors. And we have all kinds of procedures in place to keep us from making those errors. Compare us to Wall Street. Compare us to banking. Compare us to the Congress of the United States. Compare us to almost any institution and we make fewer errors.

(…)

FRUM: With the greatest respect to Carl and his incredible accomplishments, I really think framing this as a matter of two sides is fundamentally misleading. The press—the worst mistakes—again, when we talk about the press we exclude Fox and we talked about press organizations that have an interest in finding truth. Excluding Fox, the worst mistakes that press organizations have made in the coverage of Trump has precisely occurred in their effort — their overzealous effort to be fair to the President. Because, the problem they cover is accurate coverage of this president and his campaign is very different than neutral coverage of this president and his campaign. I mean how do you fairly report the fact that the president lies tall time and that he recruits people to work for him that lie all the time?

(…)

FRUM: The worst mistake CNN has made had been the result determination to bring in-house Trump associates in order to promote Trump falsehoods. Not from Trump HQ or from the White House but with CNN’s own brand on them.

STELTER: We will have to disagree on that one. I think we need to hear from Trump supporters.

(…)

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