CNN’s ‘Massive’ Error on Russia? No Time For It on ‘Reliable Sources’

CNN’s media unit has an enormous black hole in its review of the media world: CNN. On Friday, CNN retracted an online story making unsubstantiated claims about the Russian ties of Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci. Jon Passantino at Buzzfeed reported on Sunday a crackdown on CNN reporting on Russia to prevent future mistakes. 

So how much time did Stelter have for this story on his show Reliable Sources on Sunday? Nothing. Instead, Stelter spent more than five minutes hate-analyzing Fox & Friends as a Trump infomercial. He spent about ten and a half minutes indulging "TV legend" Phil Donahue. He even closed the show with four minutes allegedly about Russia — but his guest Masha Gessen basically fed back Stelter his favorite talking point that Trump is an "aspiring autocrat" who’s shutting down access to the press: "We’re definitely hurtling towards a closed system of government…"

Here’s what Buzzfeed reported: 

CNN is imposing strict new publishing restrictions for online articles involving Russia after the network deleted a story and then issued a retraction late Friday, according to an internal email obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The email went out at 11:21 a.m. on Saturday from Rich Barbieri, the CNNMoney executive editor, saying "No one should publish any content involving Russia without coming to me and Jason [Farkas]," a CNN vice president.

"This applied to social, video, editorial, and MoneyStream. No exceptions," the email added. "I will lay out a workflow Monday."

The new restrictions also apply to other areas of the network — not just CNNMoney, which wasn’t involved with the article that was deleted and retracted.

A source close to the network, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter, told BuzzFeed News earlier that the story was a "massive, massive f—up and people will be disciplined." [Emphasis mine.] The person said CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker and the head of the company’s human resources department are "directly involved" in an internal investigation examining how the story was handled.

It’s not like Stelter was unaware of the CNN retraction. He tweeted that on Saturday morning:

 

On Sunday night in his e-mail newsletter, Stelter spent about 230 words on the "massive" mess-up: 

On Friday evening CNN.com fully retracted a story after questions were raised about the accuracy of the reporting and sourcing. The story, by Thomas Frank of the investigative unit, said Congress was investigating a "Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials." It didn’t get TV airtime, but it was shared on the web, where it was spotted and scrutinized by Breitbart.
 
On Friday night the story was replaced by an editor’s note: "That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled." The editor’s note included an apology to Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci, who was named in the story. The next morning Scaramucci responded via Twitter: "CNN did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on." Some prominent conservative figures, like Donald Trump Jr. and Sean Hannity, seized on the story as an example of anti-Trump bias and anonymous source malfeasance…
 
An embarrassing moment for CNN
 
The truth is, there’s still a lot we don’t know. On Saturday and Sunday I asked CNN PR for details and comment. A network spokeswoman declined to comment as of Sunday evening.
 
My take: I sometimes complain to my editors about the layers of editing and oversight that exist at CNN. But these processes exist for good reasons. Determining what went wrong this time will help prevent future damage to the news organization… [Emphasis in the original.]
Perhaps Stelter should try to be as upset at his poor access to his own network’s executives as he is to the media’s poor access to Trump. 

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Russian MOD confirms agreement on E. Ghouta safe zone signed, borders established

The agreements on functioning of Eastern Ghouta de-escalation zone in Syria have been signed, the Russian Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.
The agreements, which were signed in Cairo, Egypt, define borders of the de-escalation zone and locations of control powers, according to the statement.
"These documents define the borders of the de-escalation zone, the deployment sites and powers of the de-escalation control forces, as well as the routes for delivering humanitarian aid and clear passage to the population," the ministry said.
The ministry noted that the first humanitarian convoy to the Eastern Ghouta de-escalation zone is expected in nearest time. It will be followed by the evacuation of wounded civilians for East Ghouta.
The documents have been signed in the development of the Astana agreements with the mediation of the Egyptian side, it added.

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Group of Syrian Migrants Brutally Beat Man After Accusing Him of Being Homosexual

Group of Syrian Migrants Brutally Beat Man After Accusing Him of Being Homosexual
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
by Chris Tomlinson19 Jul 20170 19 Jul, 2017
19 Jul, 2017

Syrian origin 31-year-old Gabriel Chabo claims that he was severely beaten by a group of Syrian migrants in the Swedish town of Södertälje after the men claimed that he was homosexual.
Mr Chabo was walking around the town on Friday afternoon with his brother when he was approached by several men he was unfamiliar with. The men, who he claims were lSyrian migrants, started getting aggressive with Chabo calling him homophobic insults and ultimately beating him with weapons and slamming his head repeatedly into a car door Expressen reports.

According to Chabo, when the men approached him they said, “if you are going to stay in Sodertalje, you pay money because you are gay.” Chabo said that he responded to them claiming that he was straight and telling the group to leave him alone.
Chabo said the likely reason for the attack was his open stance on supporting gay rights. He said the incident is not the first time he has had trouble saying that the beauty salon which he owns has been subject to vandalism in the past and also mentioned highly aggressive social media posts earlier in 2017.
Now unable to sleep without medication Chabo said he felt lucky to be alive after the attack. “I just thought that I did not want to die. I saw my life pass by in a second,” he said, “My nose is completely skewed. I can not see myself in the mirror, I do not feel good at all.”
As a Syrian origin man himself, Mr Chabo recognised the words spoken by the attackers in Arabic, Syriac and Swedish. Local police officer Peter Lindberg has said that there have been no suspects identified in the case so far.

Mina tankar går idag till Gabriel Chabo. En modig man som överfölls av idiotiska homofober i Södertälje. https://t.co/uO8hFTsM8b #svpol #hbt
— ÖZZ NÛJEN (@ozznujen) July 17, 2017

The attack is one of a number of recent violent attacks on homosexuals by migrants. In Germany earlier this week a Serbian gay asylum seeker couple was viciously beaten in the asylum home where they were living. One of the men was so badly injured that he had to be hospitalised.
Many migrants during the course of the migrant crisis have shown deep hostility to homosexuality. The problem has become so endemic that many gay rights campaigners advocate for separate asylum accommodation for homosexuals to prevent violent incidents from happening.
The hostility to homosexuality is also present in migrant-heavy suburbs like those in Sweden where gay pride parades rarely occur. In 2015 Swedish left-wing politicians and others were shocked and dismayed when the only group willing to support a pride march through the notorious Stockholm suburbs of Husby and Tensta were the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com 

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EXCLUSIVE — As Rex Tillerson Leads in Gulf Crisis Talks, Senior U.N. Official Shunned by Saudis, Sources Say

NEW YORK CITY – As the U.S. takes the lead role in solving the Gulf crisis, Saudi Arabia is keeping the United Nations at arm’s length, with sources telling Breitbart News that the Saudis told one of the body’s top officials not to travel to the country as he sought to mediate a solution to the conflict.
The U.N.’s absence in Saudi Arabia highlights the U.N.’s increasing irrelevance on the larger world stage.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to the region Monday, where he will stop in Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia to initiate talks to resolve the crisis. Saudi Arabia and its allies – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt – cut links with Qatar last month, claiming the country was sponsoring terrorism and is allied with Iran. Qatar denies the claims.
Tillerson has wide-ranging ties in the oil-rich region, which he forged when he was CEO of ExxonMobil and is likely to prove a savvy and knowledgeable negotiator in ending the crisis.
Jeffrey Feltman, a U.S. diplomat who has served as the under-secretary-general for Political Affairs since 2012, embarked on a tour of the region last week to try to help mediate a solution. But while he visited Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, Saudi Arabia was curiously absent from his itinerary.
A spokeswoman for the U.N. secretary-general told Breitbart News that Feltman did not visit Saudi Arabia due to time constraints. However, the spokeswoman added that before Feltman left New York, he met with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.N. and is also in “regular contact” with the Saudi foreign minister.

However, a high-level official at the United Nations told Breitbart News that Feltman intended to include Saudi Arabia on his tour but was told by the Saudis that he would not be welcome. The official said that Feltman and the U.N. as a whole have little standing in Riyadh, and the Saudis were keen to deter the U.N. from any attempt to interfere in the standoff.
A source within the Saudi government confirmed this account to Breitbart News, adding that the Saudi government views Feltman and the U.N. at large as discredited, particularly in its handling of the situation in Yemen. That official said that Guterres had been warned not to interfere in the Gulf and that when Feltman’s trip was announced, he was told that he would not be welcome.
“[The crisis] is going to be solved by the U.S., not by the U.N. – which is becoming increasingly irrelevant,” the U.N. source said.
The U.N. exacerbated its low standing in the eyes of the Saudis with the appointment of Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed as special envoy to Yemen in 2015, whom both the Saudis and Iran-backed Houthi rebels blame for the lack of a peace deal in the country.
The alleged snub of Feltman highlights the growing difference in standing between the U.N. and the U.S. While Feltman’s visit barely marked a blip on media radars, Tillerson’s trip is being seen as the best chance for a resolution to the crisis.

It also marks a change in tone for the U.S., which under the Obama administration showed deference to the U.N. amid its broader push to “lead from behind.” Under Trump, however, the U.S. has taken a central role in multiple hot spots and has highlighted the U.N.’s lack of action as well.
At the G20 summit in Hamburg last weekend, President Trump negotiated a cease-fire in southern Syria, where the U.N. has been largely impotent. The move comes after the Trump administration took the lead in April in bombing the site from where a chemical attack had been launched in northern Syria, purportedly by the Assad regime. A day before the airstrike was launched, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley had scolded the U.N. Security Council for its lack of action against the Assad regime.
A similar story has played out on the issue of North Korea last week, when Haley demanded action in the wake of the testing of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile by the North Koreas and warned against efforts to water down any resolution.
“We will look at any country that chooses to do business with this outlaw regime. We will not have the patience for stalling or talking our way down to a watered down resolution,” she said.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.

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