On Thursday, Newsweek published a wildly premature report about what President Trump was doing on Thanksgiving. The story said that Trump would be spending the day in south Florida “tweeting, golfing and more.” After that came reports indicating that the president had, in fact, traveled to Afghanistan to visit U.S. troops stationed there:
President Trump is speaking with U.S. troops in Afghanistan in a surprise visit for Thanksgiving: "There’s nowhere I’d rather celebrate this Thanksgiving than right here with the toughest, strongest, best and bravest warriors on the face of the Earth." pic.twitter.com/5AxUe1cSvU
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) November 28, 2019
The original Newsweek story immediately started to age poorly, and it was soon updated:
Reporter Jessica Kwong also tweeted the correction and update:
Trump headed to Afghanistan to surprise U.S. troops on Thanksgiving https://t.co/f7Xeqz1ZGQ Deleting this tweet because it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake. Story has already been updated, as shown in the screenshot. pic.twitter.com/g9CfPaV2kQ
— Jessica Kwong (@JessicaGKwong) November 29, 2019
And now, another update to the story: The DC Examiner is reporting that Newsweek has fired the reporter:
Newsweek reporter fired for inaccurate story about Trump's Thanksgiving Day plans.
The original story claimed Trump only planned on tweeting & golfing during his holiday break.https://t.co/kOY2E7n7tk
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 30, 2019
From the DC Examiner:
Newsweek’s Jessica Kwong, whose Twitter handle identifies her as a political reporter “covering Trump administration and family,” initially published the article Thursday morning, before the president’s trip to Afghanistan was announced publicly. The story’s initial headline was, “How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing and more.”
“Newsweek investigated the failures that led to the publication of the inaccurate report that President Trump spent Thanksgiving tweeting and golfing rather than visiting troops in Afghanistan,” a Newsweek representative told the Washington Examiner. “The story has been corrected, and the journalist responsible has been terminated. We will continue to review our processes and, if required, take further action.”
The Examiner said “Jessica Kwong did not respond to a request for comment.” And the last tweet currently on her Twitter feed acknowledges a deleted tweet about Trump spending Thanksgiving tweeting and golfing, and provided an update about the president’s trip to Afghanistan.
With all that said, there are still some questions:
Didn't she have an editor that approved and published the story? https://t.co/v1Gj0UNUgh
— Chad Felix Greene (@chadfelixg) November 30, 2019
Good question, and there are more:
Yes, @JessicaGKwong wrote a shameless hit piece. Question tho… What happens to editors that let that level of crap pass inspection? Why are they not fired? Why would a journo *want* to work for an outlet that doesn't hold editors accountable too? Double standards always suck. https://t.co/8YZleMOUZH
— Lt. Col Jack, Austere Purveyor of ?? (@listener_t) November 30, 2019
I wonder if there is more to this. Her story was obviously wrong, but errors like that rarely lead to a dismissal if the reporter was working on the best available info at the time. Wondering if she failed to check with the WH…. https://t.co/Y3mlDVEQKQ
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) November 30, 2019
Could there be more to the story? Perhaps time will tell.
I would much, much rather that reporter acknowledge her mistake (she did) and commit to reporting with a renewed sense of journalistic integrity versus being fired.
But, maybe if there are consequences for media bias, there'll be less of it.
Yeah, I laughed at that too https://t.co/sDnSduFOKr
— Fusilli Spock (@awstar11) November 30, 2019
Don’t worry, WaPo will probably hire her. She fits in there.
— FloridaDame (@Fantine21) November 30, 2019
Perhaps Brian Stelter will offer the reporter a guest slot on the next “Reliable Sources.”