We give the Washington Post a hard time around here, but media critic Erik Wemple has been doing some pretty valuable work on exposing the media’s poor handling of the Steele dossier. Yesterday, Wemple went after CNN:

Wemple writes:

And there “We stand by our reporting” was in a CNN statement to the Erik Wemple Blog, which had asked the network about its anchors’ repeated claims that the dossier compiled by former British intelligence official Christopher Steele had been corroborated to a significant degree. “Your intel community has corroborated all the details,” CNN host Alisyn Camerota told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) in December 2017. Other CNNers stated that “parts” or “much” of the dossier — which claimed an “extensive conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and Russia prior to the 2016 presidential election — had been corroborated.

A nearly two-year investigation by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz upended all such talk with this finding: “The FBI concluded, among other things, that although consistent with known efforts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections, much of the material in the Steele election reports, including allegations about Donald Trump and members of the Trump campaign relied upon in the Carter Page FISA applications, could not be corroborated; that certain allegations were inaccurate or inconsistent with information gathered by the Crossfire Hurricane team; and that the limited information that was corroborated related to time, location, and title information, much of which was publicly available.”

The Erik Wemple Blog has asked CNN if its stand-by-our-reporting comment extends to [CNN correspondent Evan Perez, who reported in 2017 that the intelligence community put a lot of stock in the Steele dossier]’s reporting about the intelligence community’s alleged respect for the dossier. We will update this post if we receive a response. In the meantime, CNN could do a sensational segment looking back at this moment in Trump-Russia history, considering that it now has McCabe himself on the payroll as a network contributor.


Of course, Wemple probably shouldn’t expect CNN to actually “come clean” about what they did.

Accountability isn’t really CNN’s thing. Or the media’s, for that matter.

Hopefully Wemple will get around to the Washington Post one of these days.