Published: Sat, December 09, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Media Twitter Rails Against CNN for Apparent WikiLeaks Screwup: 'Brian Ross-Level'

Media Twitter Rails Against CNN for Apparent WikiLeaks Screwup: 'Brian Ross-Level'

The emailed offer was dated September 4 and was for a decryption key and website address providing access through WikiLeaks for hacked the documents. The network claims that the story they ran was based on two sources who saw the email - they write that the document was provided to "congressional investigators", so there's a pretty good chance that their sources were a pair of congressional staffers.

CNN on Friday issued a correction of a story detailing an email sent to top Trump world officials about hacked documents from WikiLeaks.

"The September 4 email", the story continued, "was sent during the final stretch of the 2016 presidential race -on the same day that Trump Jr. first tweeted about WikiLeaks and Clinton".

The date matters. CNN's report indicated that the Trump campaign had been fed hacked email files belonging to the Democratic National Committee and former secretary of state Colin Powell more than a week before the files were released publicly. "We have updated our story to include the correct date, and present the proper context for the timing of email".

On Twitter, CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter reported that CNN won't discipline the reporter Manu Raju who published the story because he "followed the editorial standards process" and "multiple sources provided him with incorrect info". Just after CNN published their story, The Washington Post ran another story with the correct date - September 14, 2016 - and the network was forced to apologize for their earlier reporting.

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"The full email-which was first described to CNN as being sent on September 4, 10 days earlier-indicates that the writer may have simply been flagging information that was already widely available", the Post wrote. An attorney for Donald Trump Jr. said they had never heard of a Michael Erickson. The new information indicates that the communication is less significant than CNN initially reported.

The fake news, nevertheless, had already made its way around the country, helped on its merry way by members of Congress.

Investigative reporter Mike Cernovich later lampooned CBS News for not completely retracting the story and said: "Hahahahahahaha!" ABC News has since suspended Ross for four weeks without pay. Around this time last week, after all, ABC News reported that fired national security adviser Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that Donald Trump had directed him to make contact with Russian Federation during the campaign, prompting shouts of "collusion".

CNN's error also comes on the heels of a major correction from ABC News. This was actually discussed after the election when President-elect Trump was laying the diplomatic groundwork for his incoming administration.

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