President Trump renewed his attack on CNN as "fake news" on Tuesday morning after conservative provocateur James O'Keefe released a video of a man believed to be CNN producer John Bonifield criticizing the cabler's coverage of Trump's ties to Russian Federation.
CNN later released a statement."Once it was determined that editorial processes were not followed, CNN deleted the story from CNN.com", the network reported on their website on Friday.
Despite the swift action by CNN to clean house after this major embarrassment, there still has been no official statement from CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker on how his network got caught with its hands in the fake news cookie jar. What about all the other phony stories they do?
Even those disclosures won't surprise CNN's critics, especially the latter - and the network's changes to rein in its reporting on Russian Federation certainly sent that message, too.
Trump, who has repeatedly lambasted CNN as "fake news", gloated at news of the resignations on Twitter. "They are all Fake News!"
The mistake and subsequent resignations give plenty of ammo to Trump who has tussled with the news throughout his campaign and presidency, CNN in particular. Reporter Thomas Frank, editor Eric Lichtblau and investigative head Lex Haris resigned.
None of this is terribly surprising, and it's one reason why the badly handled story regarding Anthony Scaramucci forced CNN into changing its approach.
The story had been quickly questioned both internally and externally, including by the conservative site Breitbart News. Purveyors of fake news, after all, don't take drastic personnel moves following a bogus story. (As John pointed out last night, the Washington Post's Erik Wemple notes that it's not exactly an isolated incident there, either.) Right now, CNN is catering to the viewers that are flocking to the channel by essentially giving them what they want.
Bonifield describes the Trump-Russia story as "mostly bulls-" and said the coverage was driven by the desire for ratings.
The report also said that two Democratic senators wanted to know whether Mr Scaramucci had indicated in the meeting whether sanctions against Russian Federation would be lifted, a decision that could impact the investment fund. Scaramucci, in the story, said he exchanged pleasantries in a restaurant with Dmitriev. "I've been with CNN since 2001, and am sure about one thing: This is a news organization that prizes accuracy and fairness above all else".