On Thursday evening, CNN.com ran a story by reporter Thomas Frank which, according to a now-posted Editor's Note, connected "Anthony Scaramucci with (congressional) investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund." The Editor's Note tells the network's readers: "That story did not meet CNN's editorial standards and has been retracted." Further, "Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci." Then, in a Monday evening bombshell, Fox News's Howard Kurtz reported that "Three journalists (have) quit CNN in fallout from (the) retracted Russia story" — although it's possible they may have resigned instead of getting fired. What in the world happened?
On Monday, the often inaccurate Congressional Budget Office released its report with the latest analysis of the health care bill recently released by Senate Republicans. First impressions: There was a lot for the liberal media to make hay with. In addition to running with the misleading figure of the number of uninsured, ABC and NBC both continued to push the fake news story of there being massive cuts to Medicaid in the bill during their evening broadcasts. That’s despite the fact that the CBO report itself disproves their lie.
The Sunday network morning shows were filled with discussion of the health care bill recently released by Senate Republicans on Thursday. That discussion was loaded with fake news about the bill drastically slashing Medicaid, which was being pushed by the program moderators. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos actually yelled at Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway because she refuted it. Meanwhile, on the other networks, GOP Senators were embarrassing their hosts by educating them on what the bill actually did to Medicaid.
After Senate Republicans unveiled their ObamaCare replacement on Thursday, ABC smeared the bill during World News Tonight with claims that people were going to pay more for less and that Medicaid was being cut. On Sunday, Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos took to his show, This Week, to continue their smear campaign. “The President right there said no cuts in Medicaid … Why is the President going back on his promise,” he rudely yelled at Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
Last this week, The Washington Post published an article saying that the Obama administration knew well in advance of Election Day 2016 that Russia was trying to meddle the U.S. election process but chose not to go public out of fear that many would think President Obama was swaying the election to Hillary Clinton. During NBC’s Sunday Today, Chuck Todd let his true feelings show when equated Obama not putting his figure on the electoral scale to President Bush not acting on intelligence reports about Osama bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks.
On Monday, the news of a Muslim girl being killing in northern Virginian went viral as speculation swirled that she was the victim of a hate crime. According to police, the tragic incident was the result of road rage by Darwin Martinez Torrez, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador. That night, both CBS and NBC ignored the story, while ABC hid Torrez’s legal status. It took NBC until Wednesday night to mention the murder, and even then they censored his legal status while pushing the idea that it was a hate crime.
On top of the high-profile testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, the media was swarming over a rumor President Trump was looking to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. “Is the President now considering firing special prosecutor Robert Mueller who is now overseeing the Russia investigation,” speculated ABC Anchor David Muir during World News Tonight. All of the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) pushed the rumor despite the fact that their source admits he never spoke with the President and thinks he wouldn’t do it.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, where he was grilled in regards to the Russia investigation. Sessions drew criticism from many by appearing to be evasive on some questions in regards to his communications with President Trump. This did not sit well with CBS Evening News, where Anchor Scott Pelley chided that “today, the attorney general was more measured [than Trump], even though he declined to answer some of the most revealing questions.”
President Trump found himself, once again, at the receiving end of a high-profile lawsuit involving his business dealings on Monday. The Attorneys General of both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia filed a suit claiming the Present was in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which states that an office holder cannot receive payments or gifts from a foreign power. The Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) highlighted the suit while they openly hoped that it would allow them to see Trump’s tax returns.
In one of the last segments on Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host Brian Stelter spent nearly four and half minutes whining about the public, specifically Trump supporters, who don’t believe the news media. “If you don't believe the ‘media,’ then you probably don't believe that the Trump administration has had a dysfunctional few months,” he chided at the start of the segment. “If you don't believe the ‘media,’ you might not believe Russia's meddling in last year's election is a very big deal.”
When Washington, D.C. woke up Sunday morning, politicos were greeted with the news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was going to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. It would be a change of plans since Sessions was scheduled for a public hearing in front of the Senate Budget Committee, where he was expected to be pelted with Russia questions. It’s the Intelligence Committee that is handling the Senate’s Russia investigation, but according to CNN’s John King on Inside Politics, a private hearing could be an “obstruction of justice.”
One of the largest revelations to come out of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s public hearing with former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday was that President Trump was not under investigation. That fact didn’t seem to sit well with CBS’s John Dickerson when he appeared during CBS News Special Report after the hearing. Almost desperately, Dickerson tried to argue Trump had to be under scrutiny, “So, a President who was once concerned about not being under investigation those actions he took may now, in fact, make him under investigation.”