It’s not the fakest thing that CNN has every published, but a now deleted story has gotten the most attention in memory. And now, three CNN employees are in the unemployment line over the discredited story that was published, deleted and then finally retracted.
The story in question alleged that Trump friend Anthony Scaramucci was involved with a Russian investment fund. A claim he, the Russian fund and members of Congress have all denied. As expected, the story relied on a single Anonymous source.
“In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignations of the employees involved in the story’s publication,” a CNN spokesman said Monday.
The author of the story, Thomas Frank; Eric Lichtblau, an editor in the unit; and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit, have all left CNN.
CNN said that the story was deleted because it did not meet their editorial standards, but the manner in which it was removed was unusual. Typically, a discredited or questionable story is simply retracted. Outright deletion looks like the organization is trying to hide their mistake instead of admitting to it.
- Were the three generously rewarded for offering themselves up as sacrificial lambs?
- If editorial standards were not followed, how did it get published? Are there no controls at Jeff Zucker’s little empire?
This is the second major story blown by CNN’s “editorial process” this month.
Earlier this month, CNN was forced to correct and rewrite an article by four writers, including Lichtblau, that relied upon anonymous sources claiming that former FBI director James Comey would refute Trump’s assertion that Comey had assured the president that he was not under FBI investigation. Comey’s testimony confirmed, rather than refuted, Trump’s account.