The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi has a piece out today that details what exactly went wrong with CNN’s now retracted piece on Anthony Scaramucci and Russia. Apparently Lex Harris, who was the editor of the unit responsible for the story, was out of town when it was published…
— Paul Farhi (@farhip) June 27, 2017
…out of town at a journalism conference:
Lex Haris, CNN’s investigations editor, traveled to a journalism conference in Phoenix last week. In hindsight, his timing was terrible.
LOLOLOLOL! A conference, mind you, that said it would teach attendees how to “improve reporting“:
Reboot your skills, recharge your watchdog batteries and reconnect with the world’s largest network of investigative journalists during this year’s gathering in Phoenix. Choose from more than 150 panels, hands-on classes and special presentations. Learn how to improve reporting and storytelling across all platforms. Celebrate the best of investigative reporting during our 2016 IRE Awards luncheon.
Not so much.
More from CNN:
While Haris was away, his group published a story on CNN.com that reported — citing a single anonymous source — that Senate investigators were looking into a meeting between a member of President Trump’s transition team, Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci, and an executive of a Russian investment fund before Trump took office. The story seemed to advance the narrative of ties between Trump campaign officials and people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
One problem: When challenged on the particulars of the story, CNN acknowledged that it couldn’t stand by it. It retracted it and apologized to Scaramucci on Saturday. On Monday, Haris and the editor and reporter of the piece, Eric Lichtblau and Thomas Frank, resigned from CNN.
The sequence of events led Trump to take a kind of victory lap on Tuesday. He turned to Twitter to bash CNN and other media outlets (including The Washington Post) that have aggressively reported on his associates’ connections to Russian officials during the 2016 campaign and pre-inaugural period.
Read the whole thing here.