Yes, it’s par for the course, but for people who wonder why a fake news story keeps making the rounds, it’s simple math. The infestation is complete when you give 27x more coverage to peddling that total crap story about Trump and Wikileaks.
On Friday, CNN got a face full of buckshot when they said Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and other members of his inner circle got an email from Michael Erickson, who gave them an decryption key to a trove of emails from the DNC and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, before they were made public on September 4, 2016. Yeah, the email was sent on September 14 and all of those files were made public the day before. It’s a non-story, but CNN marinated it for hours before the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post cleaned up their mess.
The Republican National Committee’s media division had some numbers on this fiasco, besides the 27x more coverage statistic. The network spent just 3.4 percent of its airtime that day covering the retraction. It was brought up nineteen times in five hours—four times an hour roughly—until the Post cleaned up the record. After that, the retraction was mentioned only once. In all, from the time CNN mentioned this shoddy December 8 story to when other outlets corrected them based on information that was totally available to its reporters, 30 percent of the network’s on-air reports were devoted to this piece of fake news, whereas only one percent was devoted to its retraction if you compare coverage of both on a five-hour period.
As for CNN, one reporter told the Washington Examiner that it was a “colossal f**k up.” And that wasn’t the only error. The CNN story in May that insinuated lack of transparency regarding Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ foreign contacts was corrected yesterday. In that story, CNN said that Sessions never revealed his Russian meetings in his security clearance form, despite an aide from the FBI telling him foreign contacts while he was U.S. Senator did not need to be disclosed. CNN knew this back in May, but other outlets reported on it as well (of course)—and the Russian collusion nonsense kept getting oxygen. Now, they finally admit that Sessions didn’t need to disclose those meetings for his security clearance. It hasn’t been a banner few weeks for the liberal news media in the coverage of this White House.