Mainstream Outlets Slammed for False Reporting and Major Blunder

"The New York Times" (CC BY 2.0) by Joe Shlabotnik

Mainstream outlets faced an overwhelming criticism on Monday after the weekend corrections they issued regarding false news reporting the Rudy Giuliani was allegedly warned by the FBI and has been a target of a Russian disinformation campaign. 

NBC News, The New York Times, and The Washington Post was slammed by cricitism following weekent about the stories they published about the alleged warning were published following the FBI raid on former New York City mayor’s Manhattan apartment on April 29. According to these mainstream news outlets, this move came as a part of an ongoing investigation into whether or not he violated the law while lobbying on behalf of Ukrainian officials in 2019. 

Each of these news outlets referenced “anonymous” sources when they revealed the alleged FBI warnings that in fact never took place. This prompted Giuliani to demand they expose who their sources were following the retractions. 

After publishing false reporting, the three news outlets were quickly called out on social media for their inaccurate reporting. Some people questioned the standards they use to verify information coming from anonymous sources. Others are calling for the outlets to “burn” the sources.

While talking about the retractions that happened on Monday, Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz labeled the false reporting a “a major blunder.” Kurtz also explained that the news organizations are entitled to reveal the identities of anonymous sources if they determine the sources lied when sharing information. 

On the other hand, Joe Concha, contributor of Fox News and The Hill also lambasted the false reporting and use of anonymous resources. Concha also called out the outlets to reveal the source of the false news.

Concha then cited a 2018 Axios poll that shows 75% of Americans believe “traditional major news sources” report things they know to be “fake, false, or purposefully misleading.”

Meanwhile, Co-host of “Outnumbered” and former White House Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany echoed the poll data Concha cited, calling it an “extraordinary number.” She also said that “there’s an epidemic in American journalism, and it’s anonymous sourcing.”

McEnany said, “Look, there’s an epidemic in American journalism and it is anonymous sourcing, oftentimes the single anonymous source that ends up being wrong. And you see the corrections and you’re right, the corrections barely get any coverage. There’s reputational damage for Rudy Giuliani and others with that nuance there.”

She continued stating that what is important to her is that the American people are seeing this. She also mentioned the Axios poll that Concha cited saying, “this Axios poll that came out that said 92% of Republicans believe that the media intentionally reports false stories and 79% of independents. That is an extraordinary number.”

McEanny also added that the Edelman’s research is the trust barometer and that this year, they found that journalism is at its lowest point of trust.

“So there are real consequences when you have explosives stories like this, causing damage to someone’s reputation. The American public recognizes it and it leads to mistrust which is really unfortunate for an important profession,” McEnany said.