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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Liberal Media Freaks Out as Tom Cotton Questions Coronavirus Origins
Mainstream media seems more concerned with Cotton’s questions than China’s censorship.
Mainstream media entities are claiming Republican Senator Tom Cotton is trafficking in “conspiracy theories” for questioning the source of the coronavirus’ origins.
Cotton has questioned the official narrative stating that the deadly coronavirus outbreak originated in a wet food market in Wuhan, China. He’s suggested that it’s possible the disease originated in a Chinese government “superlab” a few miles away that conducts research in human infectious diseases.
Cotton has pointed out that the Chinese government is consistently declining offers of scientific and medical aid to combat the lethal epidemic, raising suspicions as to their transparency.
Such a suggestion is enough to label Cotton a “conspiracy theorist” in the eyes of outlets such as Slate and the New York Times. A headline from the Times called Cotton’s question a “fringe theory,” even though Cotton references epidemiologists who believe the virus didn’t originally enter human transmission at the food market. The Washington Post also ran a story Monday claiming that Cotton is trafficking in conspiracy theories.
It’s remarkable that nominally respectable media entities such as the New York Times are quick to dismiss entirely plausible theories of the coronavirus’s origins. If anything, an official narrative on the virus’s origins from the authoritarian communist government of China should be treated with inherent skepticism, especially considering that China is widely suspected of covering up the gravity of the situation and even arresting reporters who seek to document the epidemic and the government’s response.
Certainly it’s possible that the disease spread into humans from the consumption of animals such as bats, a prevailing theory for the virus’s origins. But the general public has no reason to entirely discount any plausible theory for the origins of the virus.
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