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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005

    Three CNN employees resign over retracted story on Russia ties

    Three CNN employees resign over retracted story on Russia ties

    By Erik Wemple June 26 at 6:26 PM

    Thomas Frank, a reporter for “CNN Investigates,” last Thursday appeared to have a compelling exclusive on the story of the year. The Senate Intelligence Committee, reported Frank, was investigating a Russian investment fund — the Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) — “whose chief executive met with a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team four days before Trump’s inauguration.”

    That transition team official is Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Streeter who was expected to take a prominent White House position but did not. Scaramucci met in January with RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev.

    The CNN exclusive — which hung from one unnamed source — didn’t take long to wither. Breitbart News’s Matthew Boyle bombed the CNN piece as baseless. Sputnik News published a refutation, indicating that the fund was not a part of Russian state bank Vnesheconombank, as the CNN report had claimed. This detail mattered a great deal, considering that Vnesheconombank was listed in a set of sanctions issued by the U.S. government. According to the CNN report, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s probe into this matter was linked to the meeting between top Trump adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner and Vnesheconombank CEO Sergey Gorkov during the presidential transition.

    Now for the consequences. CNN announced on Monday afternoon that three network officials are leaving their jobs over the incident: Frank, the reporter on the story; Eric Lichtblau, a recent CNN addition from the New York Times who edited the piece; and Lex Haris, the executive editor of “CNN Investigates.” The moves follow an investigation carried out by CNN executives over the weekend, with the conclusion that longstanding network procedures for publishing stories weren’t properly followed. “There was a significant breakdown in process,” says a CNN source. “There were editorial checks and balances within the organization that weren’t met.”

    The official CNN statement: “In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on, CNN has accepted the resignations of the employees involved in the story’s publication.”

    Regarding the personnel changes, a CNN source said, “The individuals all stated that they accepted responsibility and wanted to resign.” A compelling wrinkle in the saga of the story springs from the careful language in the editor’s note: “That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci,” it reads. CNN is not bailing on all the factual representations in the story, however. “We pulled it down not because we disproved it,” says a CNN source, adding that there was “enough concern” on some factual points that “given the breach in process, we decided to pull it down.”

    The event is a cataclysm accentuated by the peculiar bind in which the 24-7 network has found itself. CNN tops President Trump’s list of objectionable news outlets, one that he famously claimed in a January transition press conference was “fake news,” even though the reporting he was referring to — about high-level intelligence briefings — was 100 percent correct. Trump fans everywhere have taken up the fight, hammering the network every time it equivocates or otherwise over-reports the Russia-Trump line of inquiry. In the regular White House briefings, Press Secretary Sean Spicer carries on a sneering and long-running feud with CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, perhaps the press corp’s most outspoken detractor of the White House’s no-camera and no-audio briefings.

    That context explains the speed and severity of CNN’s personnel moves over the Russia-Scaramucci story. An organization of nearly 4,000 news professionals; an organization that has spent huge sums recruiting ever-greater reportorial muscle; an organization that promises both sides a fair shake; an organization that values right-on-the-money exclusives — it just cannot abide getting shamed by Sputnik and Breitbart. A CNN source rejected the notion that the company does anything differently because of the pressure coming from the commander in chief and his supporters. “We don’t feel hemmed in by the administration or the words that they use at all,” says the source.

    Nor is the Russia-Scaramucci story the only recent CNN black eye. In advance of former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony, CNN used four bylines — Gloria Borger, Eric Lichtblau, Jake Tapper and Brian Rokus — to report that Comey would contradict Trump’s claims that the fired FBI chief had told him that he wasn’t a target of an investigation. Instead, the opposite turned out to be the case: Comey confirmed those claims of Trump. The story piled poor editorial judgment on top of faulty reporting, in that there was little merit in predicting Comey’s testimony a day or two before he gave it. A CNN source insists that the Comey-prediction screwup was “not connected” to its handling of the Russia-Scaramucci episode. “That said, we have to play error-free ball,” says the source.

    At a panel discussion Friday afternoon hosted by the Washington Press Club Foundation, CNN senior congressional reporter Manu Raju addressed these difficult journalistic times. “You just cannot screw up in this environment because they’ll use every small mistake to come after you and suggest that you have some nefarious motive in your reporting,” he said.

    Journalism mills presiding over acts of misconduct have a patented approach to juggling the public demand for punishment with their preference for keeping their beloved colleagues: the suspension. That this case didn’t end with such a lousy and always unproductive resolution underscores the stakes for mainstream media outlets reporting on the Trump administration.

    Critics will long cite this episode as evidence that CNN is precisely what Trump has called it — “fake news.” Yet the departure of three journalists immediately following a mangled story provides a counterpoint to this particular slander. Purveyors of fake news, after all, don’t take drastic personnel moves following a bogus story. They rejoice in it.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    CNN is rotten to the core. The only reason they did this is because their FAKE NEWS reporting is so obvious, so extreme, so full of BS, that even their international audience, the one they really care about is saying "what is wrong with you?" They didn't do this because they have ethics, they didn't do this because they care about delivering accurate worthy news to the American People. They did this because leaders and business people in other countries said, we're not advertising with your no credibility brand any more.

    In my opinion.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  3. #3
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    O’Keefe Undercover Bombshell: CNN Producer Admits Trump-Russia Story is “Bullsh*t” (Video)

    Cristina Laila Jun 27th, 2017 12:45 am 259 Comments
    James O’Keefe strikes again!

    Project Veritas just dropped bombshell undercover video of CNN Producer John Bonifield admitting the Trump-Russia story is B.S. but they continue to push the false narrative for ‘ratings’.

    O’Keefe teased his Twitter followers on Monday by sending out a cryptic tweet saying, “Independence Day is approaching, but this year the fireworks come early.”

    Independence Day is approaching, but this year the fireworks come early.
    Stay tuned.
    — James O’Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) June 27, 2017
    James O’Keefe released part one of his ‘American Pravda’ series with CNN. O’Keefe says his goal is to expose the real motivation behind the decision making process in our dominant media corporation. The Russia story has dominated CNN. Since the inauguration, CNN has mentioned Russia on air nearly 16,000 times.
    P.V. Journalist: “So you believe the Russia thing is a little crazy, right?”
    John Bonifield (CNN Producer): “Even if Russian was trying to swing an election, we try to swing their elections, our CIA is doing shit all the time, we’re out there trying to manipulate governments. You win because you know the game, you play it right. She (Hillary) didn’t play it right.”
    PV Journalist: “Then why is CNN constantly like Russia this, Russia that?”
    John Bonifield: “Because it’s ratings. Our ratings are incredible right now.”
    Bonifield went on to say that the CEO of CNN, Jeff Zucker demanded that his news channel get back to the ratings winner that Russia is for CNN.
    Bonifield laughed off the notion that the media has an ethical responsibility and said ‘it’s a business’ and ‘they gotta what they gotta do to make money’.

    PV Journalist: “But honestly, you think the whole Russia shit is just bullshit right?”
    Bonifield: “Could be bullshit. I mean it’s mostly bullshit right now. Like, we don’t have any big giant proof.”
    Bonifield went on to say that if there was proof that the Russia story is real, we would know about it by now because of all the leaks. He said that he doesn’t feel like they have anything, but they want to just keep digging.
    Shockingly, Bonifield actually took Trump’s side and said, “I think the President is probably right to say, like, look, you are witch-hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.”
    VIDEO Via Project Veritas:

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