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 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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The Nuclear Option — Out: Obama Doctrine; In: American Exceptionalism

The Nuclear Option — Out: Obama Doctrine; In: American Exceptionalism

by Charles Hurt7 Jul 20170 7 Jul, 2017
7 Jul, 2017

Nearly a decade after Barack Obama snuffed out America’s beacon of freedom to the world, President Trump has re-lighted the hopeful flame.
At nearly this exact point in Mr. Obama’s presidency, he launched his famous “apology tour,” traveling the globe seeking forgiveness for all America’s transgressions.

Warmongering, torture, and slavery had become the ugly birthmarks of America. In Mr. Obama’s eyes, anyway.
That was before Mr. Obama went on to become the first president in history to wage war with every heartbeat of his presidency. Or the rise and spread of ISIS, which plumbed new depths of depravity in torturing innocents. Or the explosion of slavery, rape and human trafficking from South and Central America spawned by Mr. Obama’s heartless open-borders policies.
He traveled to Egypt with unrivaled credibility as the son of a Muslim to beckon the Muslim world into modernity? To teach the radical notions of free speech, self-governance, and religious freedom? Instead, he apologized for America’s role in creating the internet, with its twisted view of “sexuality” and “mindless violence.”
Really? You have women living as covered servants and gays thrown off rooftops and America’s president apologized for the internet?

He also claimed it was “part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
Seriously? Can you believe that huckster peddled himself as a “constitutional scholar”? No wonder he suffered so many unanimous beat-downs by the Supreme Court during his presidency.
The problem with Barack Obama — other than having never actually read the Constitution — is that he never understood the radical notion of self-governance upon which America was founded. He views government as a great force of paternal benevolence.
It is why he gave us government-run Obamacare, which is just a fancy, self-idolizing term for socialized medicine and rationed health care. Most Orwellian of all, Mr. Obama named it the “Affordable” Care Act.
Well, sir, if it is so “affordable,” why does the federal government have to mandate everyone buy it?

Maybe if you shut up long enough and listened to the great people of Poland and other Eastern European countries for which you had such disdain, they would have happily explained it to you.
Socialism didn’t work there, and it will not work here.
Mr. Obama is gone now, and his legacy is being systematically dismantled by Mr. Trump.
Among Mr. Trump’s earliest initiatives was undoing the Obama Doctrine of apology and appeasement.
Mr. Obama’s commitment to Defeat without Peace and America Last have been replaced by an era of American Exceptionalism. America’s Beacon of Hope shines brightly once again.

In Warsaw, Mr. Trump celebrated our warm friendship with the “soul of Europe.”
“You stood in solidarity against oppression, against a lawless secret police, against a cruel and wicked system that impoverished your cities and your souls,” he said. “And you won. Poland prevailed. Poland will always prevail.”
And this gem, which certainly went right over Mr. Obama’s head, but may as well have been aimed directly at the heart of Obamacare: “The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies.”
Mr. Trump’s entire powerful and elegant speech reminded me of so many thrilling lines from “Casablanca.” In particular, this one near the end of the film when Victor Laszlo turns to Rick after getting the letters of transit and says: “Welcome back to the fight. This time I know our side will win.”
• Charles Hurt can be reached at; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.

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Trump returns from Paris to face growing legislative and legal problems. But first, golf – Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles TimesTrump returns from Paris to face growing legislative and legal problems. But first, golfLos Angeles TimesHe’ll always have Paris. President Trump returned Friday from being feted in France to confront new, damaging revelations in the investigation into whether his associates coordinated with Russian efforts to sway the 2016 election, as well as perilous …Trump revels in French military pomp far from White House turmoilWashington PostTrump and Macron: An unlikely friendship is bornBBC NewsA second-by-second analysis of the Trump-Macron handshakeCNNNew York Times -NPRall 2,053 news articles »


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