CNN’s Brian Stelter Shreds Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC for Airing Thinly-Sourced Trump Story: ‘How Did It Get On the Air?’
CNN anchor Brian Stelter slammed MSNBC and host Lawrence O’Donnell for airing a thinly-sourced story on President Donald Trump’s finances that was soon retracted.
“A big question in media circles this week: what was Lawrence O’Donnell thinking?” Stelter asked on Reliable Sources Sunday morning.
“How did it get on the air? We still don’t know,” Stelter said. “MSNBC, owned by NBC News, has not commented. And O’Donnell was back on the air the next night so it doesn’t seem that he was being disciplined for going on the air with this tip from a single source that was by all evidence incorrect.”
“There is no evidence that O’Donnell was right about this story. And yet he is still out there saying we don’t know if it was inaccurate,” Stelter told his panel.
Media critic David Zurawik harshly criticized O’Donnell for airing the story.
“If there is a takeaway here for cable news executives, this is what happens when you hire politicos and let them host shows,” Zurawik said. “No one with any journalistic training would have come near this story … this was wish-fulfillment journalism.”
“I totally agree, no journalist worth his or her salt would go with a story like this without at least having two sources, probably more … because of the kind of ammunition that it could hand to Trump and his administration,” reporter Julia Ioffe said.
“I do think that it is interesting that he was not disciplined in any way as far as we know, because it is also the same network that disciplined Brian Williams not too long ago for fibbing on a story … in comparison, it seems so anodyne compared to this, which is a massive blunder,” she continued.
Watch above, via CNN.
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