NY Post: CNN Staffers Fuming That They Lost 'Moral High Ground' After Botched Russia Story

Posted: Jun 28, 2017 7:00 AM

It's not good to be CNN right now. Three staffers resigned after a shoddy report from a single anonymous source alleged that the Senate Intelligence Committee was looking into interactions between Russian Direct Investment Fund’s Kirill Dmitriev and Trump transition team member Anthony Scaramucci (via Politico):

The piece, published late last week, cited an anonymous source saying the Senate Intelligence Committee was looking into the chief executive of a $10-billion Russian investment fund who met with financier Anthony Scaramucci before the inauguration. The report also said that two Democratic senators wanted to know whether Scaramucci had indicated in the meeting whether sanctions against Russia would be lifted, a decision that could impact the investment fund.

Out are: The reporter, Pulitzer-Prize nominee Thomas Frank; assistant managing editor Eric Lichtblau (who recently joined from the New York Times and is a Pulitzer winner himself); and Lex Haris, the executive editor in charge of investigations.

The reporting was shoddy, it was retracted, and three members of CNN’s investigative unit are gone. Lauretta and Cortney wrote more about the fallout yesterday, where President Trump didn’t waste the opportunity to mock the network, while anchor Michael Smerconish said that he wasn’t embarrassed by the botched story, noting the swift accountability that ensued in its aftermath. CNN offered new guidelines on Russia, but staffers are reportedly furious that they lost the “moral high ground” with this public relations disaster [emphasis mine]:

Meanwhile, a CNN insider said staffers are furious at “having lost the moral high ground because of this story.” Sources said [CNN President Jeff] Zucker tried to rally his staff during a Tuesday morning conference call.

“Zucker stressed that this issue was a ‘lapse in editorial standards’ and said it was a lesson to all reporters and editors to continue to strive for strong, accurate reporting,” a source said.

To complicate matters, you have Project Veritas capturing on camera CNN producer John Bonifield saying that the Russia collusion story is mostly bulls**t, but it’s great for ratings.