“Our record as journalists in covering this Trump story and the Russian story is pretty good,” legendary reporter Carl Bernstein told CNN’s Brian Stelter over the weekend. Pretty good? If there’s a major news story over the past 70 years that American media has botched more often because of bias and wishful thinking, I’d love to hear about it.
This week alone, four big scoops were run by major news organizations — written by top reporters and presumably churned through layers of scrupulous editing — that turned out to be completely wrong: Reuters, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and others reported that the special counsel’s office had subpoenaed Donald Trump’s records from Deutsche Bank. They weren’t. ABC reported that Trump had directed Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials before the election. He didn’t (as far as we know). The New York Times ran a story that showed K.T. McFarland had acknowledged collusion. She didn’t. Then CNN topped off the week by falsely reporting that the Trump campaign had been offered access to hacked Democratic National Committee emails before they were published.