'Canoe Fake' Kosinski Lectures State Department on 'Fake News' Accusations?

May 4th, 2018 9:51 AM

I noted on Tuesday that The Weekly Standard reported that CNN's Michelle Kosinski strongly questioned State Department senior official Michael Kozak on Trump bashing the press when the department's human-rights report came out. Jack Heretik at the Washington Free Beacon pointed out that Kosinski did it again on Thursday, or World Press Freedom Day, suggesting that any charge of "fake news" is somehow "disinformation," as if, for example, NBC's false report on Michael Cohen wiretapping couldn't be criticized as wrong.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI: You had a whole lot to say about press freedom, basically speaking to the world on that. So when the President of the United States and those around him repeatedly say the words ‘fake news,’ isn't that disinformation?

HEATHER NAUERT: We've discussed this as well. You and I have had many exchanges on this, and that's part of what the beauty of a free press and the beauty of a First Amendment, when people can say what they want. You don't have to agree with it, others don't have to agree with it, but that is certainly within his own right to do.

Nauert lectured that journalists in Turkey or Afghanistan would be arrested, harassed, or subject to death threats just for reporting the news.

Kosinski shot back: “So because that's not happening here, the White House lying and saying ‘fake news’ is a better deal?"

"Look, it's the right of the free press and of the president, and he has the right to speak his mind and has a right to be concerned about stories that he feels are inaccurate," Nauert said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

But who is Michelle Kosinski to lecture about fake news? Mark Finkelstein rushed to the fakery for NewsBusters in 2005, when she attempted to illustrate flooding in New Jersey by reporting from inside a canoe...but then two men walked in front of the canoe and the water barely came up to their ankles. Matt Lauer tried to make light of it: "Are these holy men, perhaps walking on top of the water?"

That story might not  be typical for NBC or CNN, but it ought to inspire a little humility, and that sometimes the "news" isn't as real as their lectures imply.