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Very Fake News Scandal Consumes CNN as Jeff Zucker, Network Flack Refuse to Comment on Russia Retraction to Own Network

by Matthew Boyle, Breitbart:

The scandal surrounding CNN’s mishandling of a very fake news hit piece on President Donald Trump and his associates grows bigger on Sunday night as the network’s president Jeff Zucker and public relations team are refusing to comment to anyone — even to CNN media reporter Brian Stelter — about what happened.

Stelter, in his Sunday evening newsletter named for the television program he hosts Reliable Sources, credited a Breitbart News investigation with forcing what he admitted is an embarrassing retraction for his employer CNN.

“On Friday evening fully retracted a story after questions were raised about the accuracy of the reporting and sourcing,” Stelter wrote:

The story, by Thomas Frank of the investigative unit, said Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.” It didn’t get TV airtime, but it was shared on the web, where it was spotted and scrutinized by Breitbart. On Friday night the story was replaced by an editor’s note: “That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled.” The editor’s note included an apology to Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci, who was named in the story. The next morning Scaramucci responded via Twitter: “CNN did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on.” Some prominent conservative figures, like Donald Trump Jr. and Sean Hannity, seized on the story as an example of anti-Trump bias and anonymous source malfeasance…

But then, after calling this episode “an embarrassing moment for CNN,” Stelter dropped a neutron bomb on his own employer: He revealed that CNN is refusing to comment on or explain the matter, even to CNN.

“The truth is, there’s still a lot we don’t know,” Stelter wrote. “On Saturday and Sunday I asked CNN PR for details and comment. A network spokeswoman declined to comment as of Sunday evening.”

Stelter called for a full accounting of what went wrong so CNN can learn from its significant mistakes.

“I sometimes complain to my editors about the layers of editing and oversight that exist at CNN,” Stelter wrote. “But these processes exist for good reasons. Determining what went wrong this time will help prevent future damage to the news organization…”

Losing Stelter as a public defender, for now, is a huge moral loss for the network as this scandal grows bigger and casts a wider net internally. His voice joins others, like Breitbart News and BuzzFeed News, in calling for CNN’s public relations team to answer questions about the matter. As more in the media become aware of the scandal and get involved in covering it as well, especially now that the weekend is over and it’s not getting any better, insiders at CNN worry that this is spiraling out of control quickly.

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But that’s not all: Now calls are coming for Zucker himself to stand before the public and press to address what exactly went down here.

Debbie Dooley, a Georgia-based conservative activist with Main Street Patriots and organizer of recent protests against CNN outside the network’s headquarters this month, is calling on CNN’s president to address the network’s recent retraction scandal in an on-camera press briefing before the American public.

“If Zucker demands President Trump’s team answer questions on camera, then he should be willing to hold an on camera press conference and take questions about the Fake News crisis at CNN,” Dooley told Breitbart News on Sunday evening. “Viewers and advertisers should demand it.”

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