Yesterday President Trump tweeted the assertion that “Fake News is at an all time high.” Trump wondered where the apology was “for all the incorrect stories???” CNN’s Chris Cillizza, formerly of the Washington Post, responded that Trump was off base. Cillizza wanted a set of citations. Here are Trump’s tweet and Cillizza’s response.
Fake News is at an all time high. Where is their apology to me for all of the incorrect stories???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2017
Name a story that is "fake" or "incorrect."
You can't just make a blanket assertion without ANY specifics. https://t.co/tpJ2VLmf4r
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) June 13, 2017
When I saw Cillizza’s tweet yesterday I was incredulous. I wondered if Cillizza follows the news. Is he kidding? To take just one example, I wondered if Cillizza had missed the news about “almost entirely wrong” New York Times story of February 14 trumpeting Trump/Russia contacts. I don’t think Trump had to cite it to make his point. Even though the Times’s sources on the story have gone missing, the Times stands by it. No correction, no apology.
But wait! There is more closer to home. CNN itself falsely touted the news that James Comey would refute President Trump’s claim Comey had told him he wasn’t under FBI investigation when he appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. CNN’s report carried the byline of four — count ’em, four — reporters: Gloria Borger, Eric Lichtblau, Jake Tapper and Brian Rokus.
The revised CNN report now carries this grudging concession: “CORRECTION AND UPDATE: This article was published before Comey released his prepared opening statement. The article and headline have been corrected to reflect that Comey does not directly dispute that Trump was told multiple times he was not under investigation in his prepared testimony released after this story was published.” No explanation, no apology, not even a straightforward acknowledgment that Comey confirmed Trump’s statement (rather than did “not directly dispute”).
I take it that Trump was complaining about false stories bearing on Trump and alleged “collusion” with Russian intelligence. These seem to me among the most prominent examples known to political junkies such as Cillizza. Cillizza’s tweet itself represents a variation of the phenomenon Trump complained about — including the missing apology.