CNN’s president went to work spinning his network’s embarrassing coverage of the RussiaGate conspiracy theory, and offered up a surprisingly candid excuse for the cable titan’s failures.
“We are not investigators. We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did,” Jeff Zucker told New York Times.
What exactly are “the facts as we know them?” Is that the new standard for reporting the news? Facts are facts. Determining whether something is a fact takes investigation. Splitting the two – reporting and investigating – is impossible.
This obvious truth was not lost on many of CNN’s critics.
“Wow. Good on CNN for just coming right out and admitting it. They don’t investigate. This is what I have been saying, they basically just read press releases and tweets,” reporter Tim Pool said on Twitter.
Wow. Good on CNN for just coming right out and admitting it.
They don't investigate.
This is what I have been saying, they basically just read press releases and tweets https://t.co/qhBgq1xALU
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) March 26, 2019
Pool, for the record, is not exactly a right-winger.
Donald Trump Jr. had some thoughts on CNN’s bogus excuse-making, too.
@CNN had low standards after watching multiple #RussiaHoax stories blow up in their face, but now journalists don’t have an obligation to investigate news before they report? Hate to break it to Zucker’s propaganda czar @brianstelter, but CNN is a national embarrassment,” he said.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 26, 2019
Investigation and verification of facts are inseparable from reporting and journalism. CNN cannot wriggle its way out of the fact – so to speak – that the network took Trump’s guilt in its made up conspiracy theory as a foregone conclusion.
For that, it lost what little credibility it had left, and deservedly so.
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