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CNN Retracts a Story and the White House Learns the Exact Opposite of the Right Lesson

The fake news is coming from inside the (White) house.
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Donald Trump has a habit of feeling vindicated by things that do not, in any way, vindicate him—from former FBI Director Comey’s testimony in front of the Senate to President Obama not having wiretapped him—and his team is at it again with a retracted CNN story on Trump officials and ties to Russia.

The story stated that a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials” was being investigated by the United States Congress. It has since been retracted, and the author, an editor, and a supervisor have all handed in their resignations to CNN. That’s … exactly what you’d expect to happen in a news organization that actually cares about reporting the truth. Not only that, but it doesn’t mean the facts of the story were necessarily wrong, but that they hadn’t been vetted thoroughly enough to meet CNN’s standards, according to a CNN Money article.

That didn’t stop Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders from trying to turn it into a positive for Trump, though, as she complained about the media and used the CNN story as an example:

That resulted in a rather heated exchange with reporter Brian J. Karem, who defended the press from attacks over a retraction from an administration that largely refuses to admit to getting things wrong despite very obvious facts (as Karem was more than happy to point out again on Twitter). The Trump administration would do well to learn from CNN that admitting and correcting mistakes, though your opponents may try to use it against you, is actually good for your credibility. Even Fox News’s Shepard Smith—whose own colleagues could stand to learn the same lesson—said the Trump team might do well to internalize that lesson.

They won’t, though, as Huckabee Sanders also suggested that literally everyone in the country should go watch a video of a CNN health editor, who has nothing to do with the subject, calling CNN’s Russia coverage “bullshit”—a video she openly admitted that “whether it’s accurate or not, I don’t know.” There’s incredible irony in standing up and complaining about fake news only to push a video you cannot verify the accuracy of, produced by known producers of deceptively-edited videos (Project Veritas), and that, even if it’s real, is hardly even relevant to the conversation.

Lesson officially not learned, because no one is holding them accountable.

(image: Ildar vector /

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.