Trump’s allies on the right believe the president’s claims that the mainstream media is “fake news” have been bolstered by recent missteps. They point to recent admissions from top news outlets — including CNN, the New York Times and the Associated Press — that bombshell stories were either overcooked or included incorrect details.
Adding insult to injury: Breitbart News, the pro-Trump media outlet that is scorned by many in the mainstream press, has been fact-checking their mainstream counterparts with some success.
Breitbart’s Washington political editor Matthew Boyle was first to call into question a CNN story on alleged ties between a Trump associate and Russia that was later retracted. Boyle was also reporting on an error in an Associated Press report when the newswire corrected and later rewrote the story.
Together, the corrections and retractions amount to only a few stories out of the thousands published every day. But the high-profile nature of the errors hurts the media's credibility at a time when the press is under more scrutiny than ever before, giving new political ammunition to critics of the mainstream press.
Last week, the New York Times and the Associated Press ran similar corrections acknowledging that reports on Russian interference in the 2016 election had overstated by more than a dozen the number of U.S. intelligence agencies that had signed off on the assessment.
Both outlets had reported that all 17 organizations that fall under the umbrella of the U.S. intelligence community had made the assessment. In fact, only four – the CIA, FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency - had contributed to that conclusion.
The Associated Press correction was applied to four stories that had run from early April to late June.
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