Many reputable journalists have been left scratching their heads by CNN’s botched handling of their increasingly dubious report claiming then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the Trump Tower meeting. Despite their sources (Michael Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis) retreating from his original claims, CNN continued to stand by their assertions while other news outlets cried uncle. And after President Trump mocked one of the reporters of the claim, the network lashed out.
In a Wednesday tweet, President Trump ripped into CNN. “CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake,” he wrote. “Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News[.]”
A short time later, CNN proved just how much they’re in opposition of the duly elected President with their own childish tweet.
Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie. We report the news. And we report when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our reporting and our reporters. There may be many fools in this story but @carlbernstein is not one of them.— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) August 29, 2018
“Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie. We report the news. And we report when people in power tell lies,” they bitterly spat. They again stood by their swiftly crumbling reporting before rounding out their hot take with more sophomoric spitballing: “There may be many fools in this story but @carlbernstein is not one of them.” These are adults in 2018.
Hours after Trump’s tweet, Bernstein finally responded with all the bluster you would expect. “.@realdonaIdtrump- I have spent my life as a journalist bringing the truth to light, through administrations of both parties,” he proclaimed. “No taunt will diminish my commitment to that mission, which is the essential role of a free press. @CNN stands by its story, and I stand by my reporting”:
.@realdonaIdtrump- I have spent my life as a journalist bringing the truth to light, through administrations of both parties. No taunt will diminish my commitment to that mission, which is the essential role of a free press. @CNN stands by its story, and I stand by my reporting.— Carl Bernstein (@carlbernstein) August 30, 2018
CNN’s claim that they don’t tell lies is a lie in of itself. As many have pointed out, in the original CNN report, the authors assured readers that Davis “declined to comment” but in reality, he was the key source. So that was a lie.
And that’s not the first time CNN had lied about something connected to the Russia investigation that would hurt the President. In December of last year, CNN’s Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju reported that Trump’s campaign received an e-mail from WikiLeaks containing “a decryption key and website address for hacked WikiLeaks documents.” That turned out to be false.
In June of last year, the news outlet also claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating allegations that the head of a Russian investment fund met with Anthony Scaramucci prior to Trump’s inauguration. That also turned out to be fake news and the three journalists who handled the report were forced out.
On top of lying about not telling lies. CNN’s juvenile antics drew criticism from many journalists. “Then who are the fools? And which part of the reporting is CNN standing by? That some sources said something (that has now been retracted by at least one of those sources), or the underlying allegation that those sources made,” questioned Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross.
“You reported in a story sourced to Lanny Davis that Lanny Davis refused to comment on the story. That was a lie. And not only did you deliberately lie to push an agenda, you have thus far refused to even acknowledge the lie, let alone apologize for it,” tweeted Federalist co-founder Sean Davis.
In response to Bernstein’s righteous indignation, Ross called him out for not casting himself in that light of truth. “Then bring the truth to light and explain what happened with this story,” he tweeted. “Most journalists think that they are exempt from transparency”.