Posted by Curt on 13 May, 2017 at 5:02 pm. 4 comments already!


John Solomon:

Aggressive news reporting can be a public service, like when courageous journalists exposed Richard Nixon’s Watergate, the Catholic church’s cover up of the sexual abuse and the U.S. intelligence failures that preceded 9-11.

But breathless, half-baked reporting in times of tumult can also misserve the public, like when The Wall Street Journal retracted a false story that Bill Clinton had been seen in a compromising position with an intern in the White House or when NBC wrongly identified Richard Jewell as the Olympic Park bombing suspect.

This past week, professional journalism offered us several new examples of breathless reporting during the brouhaha over Donald Trump, James Comey and Russia intelligence. At their least, some stories misled the public, and at their worst they outright misinformed.

Here are some examples this week that should cause the media to search whether its current standards are doing enough to ensure the public gets the whole truth. You can review the facts and decide for yourself whether the media shamed itself.

The Rosenstein “Quitting Episode”

The Washington Post reported Wednesday night that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had “threatened to resign after the narrative emerging from the White House on Tuesday evening cast him as a prime mover of the decision to fire Comey.”

The story cited an unnamed source close to the White House. But it did not have any comment or confirmation from the man who was alleged to have made the threat.

When Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Michelle Macaluso finally caught up to Rosenstein, a funny thing happened. He debunked the story.

“No, I’m not quitting,” he said.

The reporter pressed on: “Did you threaten to quit?”

“No,” Rosenstein said.

The Post did not return a call for comment Friday on whether it stood by its story.

The Comey resources request

The New York Times and several other outlets reported Wednesday that Comey, just before he was fired, had asked the Justice Department’s Rosenstein for more funding and personnel for the Russia intelligence probe. But when Comey’s deputy got to Capitol Hill the next day, he denied there was any need for more resources.

“I believe we have the adequate resources to do it and I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately,” FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told lawmakers.

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