It appears the decision-makers at the leader in fake news need an intervention. That’s because CNN has doubled down on its unscrupulous manipulation of journalistic ethics and has been roundly called out by even left-wing media outlets. Compounding the public embarrassment heaped on by their liberal colleagues, everyday Americans can no longer say CNN’s ratings have gone off the cliff because they don’t have enough viewership to build a molehill.
The cable news network’s most recent credibility decline stems from a widely refuted hit-piece aimed at impugning President Donald Trump. CNN’s “reporter” Jim Sciutto apparently fabricated a story that an undercover CIA asset had to be pulled from Russia under pain of death because the president mishandled sensitive intelligence. Even a casual viewer — if there were any — would have recognized immediately that the timeline for these fictitious events occurred prior to President Trump winning the 2016 election or taking the oath of office. Sciutto, citing a single anonymous source, claimed he had verified the mathematically-challenged narrative.
“I’m told by a former Trump Administration official directly involved in the discussions of this extraction that the president’s repeated mishandling of classified intelligence contributed to that decision to take this person out,” Sciutto reportedly said.
But the left-leaning New York Times and other Democrat media outlets didn’t let this one slide. After basic Journalism 101 fact-checking was conducted, documents pointed to intelligence declassified by the Obama Administration that the asset may have been compromised and might be a double-agent. The CIA strategically pulled the asset early in 2017. Whether his move to make critical documents public jeopardize the individual remains unknown. What was obvious to the New York Times and many others was the fake news report was neither timely nor factually correct.
“But former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source, and other current American officials insisted that media scrutiny of the agency’s sources alone was the impetus for the extraction,” the New York Times report states.
In what has become an almost classic CNN move after being caught creating a phony story, the fake news outlet edited its report to include factual items left out in the initial attack on the current president.
“US intelligence officials were already worried about the source’s safety,” CNN added being proven wrong. But CNN does not have the temerity to publish a retraction. Instead, the leader in national hoaxes reportedly stated, “U.S. intelligence officials were already worried about the source’s safety,” with the following caveat: “These concerns were compounded by Trump’s disclosure to the Russians.”
But the anti-Trump New York Times did not let that go either. It thoroughly debunked the entire false and misleading tale.
Although the actual decisions were largely made before President Trump was elected or had any knowledge of this particular operative, CNN has not published a proper correction. Even when the fake news employees do make corrections, it tends to come with a false narrative tie that President Trump has not been exonerated of anything, including being a Russian agent or being born in outer space. Yes, CNN has descended into a silly place.
But the threat of lost viewership no longer strikes fear into employees or President Jeff Zucker. Many of the workers have been let go in mass layoffs, and if Zucker hasn’t been ousted by now, he may never lose his job. Most Americans wouldn’t even know a CNN fake news story unless other outlets picked it up because so few people tune in.
To illustrate just how bad the ratings have become at CNN, the recent Climate Change Town Hall segment featuring the Democrat presidential hopefuls failed to climb into the top spot during its time slot. The highly promoted and signature progressive marathon debate finished third of the three cable news outlets. And if finishing dead last in viewers wasn’t awkward enough, Fox News more than doubled the CNN special event without changing its regular programming. Even the conspiracy-crazed MSNBC enjoyed upwards of one-third more viewers.
In many ways, CNN has won the victory it always wanted. The network is like a penniless nuisance who cannot be sued for damages because they have nothing left to lose — neither viewers nor their integrity.