CNN has lowered its standards dramatically from its early days — all geared toward hammering President Donald Trump 24/7. Reporters now spout opinion, stories often omit facts and skew statistics, panels are stacked with liberals and former officials from president Barack Obama’s administration, and the network’s hosts are openly hostile to the Republican president (it is, after all, known as the Clinton News Network, so Hillary’s loss sent the bigwigs reeling).
Now comes another odd story about just how far CNN has fallen. The network published a story on its website on Thursday — a biggy, supposedly. The story, written by Thomas Frank, declared that Senate investigators were digging into a Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of Trump’s transition team.
The story “cited a single, unnamed source who claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee was looking into a ‘$10-billion Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team four days before Trump’s inauguration,'” Buzzfeed reported.
The story remained on the page until … some time Friday afternoon or evening. No one is sure when it was pulled down. A tweet touting the story also mysteriously disappeared, said Buzzfeed.
In its place on the CNN webpage was an “editor’s note.”
After noticing the story’s disappearance, BuzzFeed News contacted CNN. More than an hour later, an editor’s note appeared on CNN’s website. A company representative sent BuzzFeed News a link to the note, but did not answer other questions about why the story was removed.
“The story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted,” the editor’s note said. It did not say which parts of the story failed to meet the company’s standards. The note also apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, a member of Trump’s transition team and an adviser to his presidential campaign, who was named in the report.
A source close to the network, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter, told BuzzFeed News the story was a “massive, massive fuck up and people will be disciplined.” The person said CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker and the head of the company’s human resources department are “directly involved” in an internal investigation examining how the story was handled.
So, one might conclude — might — that CNN had quietly dropped the story and was kinda’ hoping no one noticed. When someone did, the network put up the strange little retraction note (made all the more hilarious by drawing attention to CNN’s “editorial standards” — or lack of them!).
Frank, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012 while at USA Today, also did a little CYA.
Yes, another new lowlight for CNN. We’d ask “How low can they go?” but won’t because the network just keeps finding new ways to go lower!