CNN was criticized heavily for publishing a story that they had to correct, admitting that they were "duped" by their sources.
Here's the correction:
CNN's initial reporting of the date on an email sent to members of the Trump campaign about Wikileaks documents, wh… https://t.co/9f2XotrnPC— CNN Communications (@CNN Communications)1512765973.0
"CNN's initial reporting of the date on an email sent to members of the Trump campaign about Wikileaks documents, which was confirmed by two sources to CNN, was incorrect," they admitted.
"We have updated our story to include the correct date, and present the proper context for the timing of email," they added.
Manu Raju, a reporter on the story, added a correction and went on CNN to admit they had botched the story.
"CORRECTION: Email to Trump and Trump Jr. from individual offering Wikileaks documents came Sept. 14 -- not Sept. 4 -- as we reported earlier," he said. "Email pointed to docs Trump camp could get publicly."
CORRECTION: Email to Trump and Trump Jr. from individual offering Wikileaks documents came Sept. 14 -- not Sept. 4 -- as we reported earlier. Email pointed to docs Trump camp could get publicly. https://t.co/4FOdCebgQL
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 8, 2017
Here's his appearance on CNN admitting the story was false in some of the details:
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 8, 2017
Raju admits that although they had two sources confirming the date of the email, it turned out to be a false report.
What was the point of the original story?
The story strongly implied that the email to Donald Trump Jr. was a part of an surreptitious effort by foreign powers to provide hacked information to the Trump campaign that could help them damage Hillary Clinton and tip the 2016 election in their favor.
Here's how the scoop was described when it first published by a CNN employee:
Donald Trump, Trump Jr. “and others in the Trump Organization received an email in September 2016 offering a decryption key and website address for hacked WikiLeaks documents, according to an email provided to congressional investigators”
But if the email was sent to the campaign ten days after CNN's initial reporting, then the information provided in the emails at that point had been publicly available, making the email unremarkable, and hardly evidence of collusion.
Will any journalist be punished?
No. While some compared the false reporting to that of Brian Ross at ABC News, CNN made it clear that their journalist, Manu Raju, followed their guidelines, and the error was in his sources.
A CNN spokeswoman says there will not be disciplinary action in this case because, unlike with Brian Ross/ABC,… https://t.co/ArvVkfeaXj— Brian Stelter (@Brian Stelter)1512768090.0
What was the reaction?
Reaction from media critics was decidedly negative.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange criticized them heavily.
When is Google going to depreciate fake news sites like CNN?— Defend Assange Campaign (@Defend Assange Campaign)1512773281.0
Donald Trump Jr. hammered CNN from his account:
What are the odds that @cnn has the decency to make a full retraction??? You know, a real one, not hidden on their… https://t.co/IqfeN1Yqsp— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.)1512764690.0
I know you can’t help but spread #fakenews @cnn, but now that you know the truth you should have the decency to ret… https://t.co/I5Y5wbWlVA— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.)1512763821.0