Media memory holes its mistakes

David Harsanyi:

10 Times CNN Told Us An Apple Was A Banana

Considering the numerous mistakes and misleading stories CNN has produced over the past several years, you’d think that they’d be a tad less sanctimonious.

The first ad in CNN’s “Facts First” initiative features nothing but an apple with a voiceover lecturing you about the need to embrace facts. “This is an apple,” an amiable man tells us. “Some people might try to tell you that it’s a banana. They might scream banana, banana, banana, over and over and over again. They might put BANANA in all caps. You might even start to believe that this is a banana. But it’s not. This is an apple.”

This reflects the smug and didactic disposition of many in a political media that treats a vocation as if it were a religious crusade. Considering the numerous mistakes and misleading stories CNN has produced over the past several years, you’d think that they’d be a tad less sanctimonious.

For one thing, there will always be people ready to believe fake news and conspiracy theories that buttress their worldview. This is not unique to any outlook or era. In 2006, 51 percent of Democrats believed President George W. Bush knew of or abetted the 9/11 attacks. In 2010, 41 percent of Republicans, including Donald Trump, believed Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. These days, 52 percent of Democrats believe Russia “tampered with the vote totals” and made Trump president. (I guess CNN has something to do with the latter, considering that on more than occasion it has made the misleading sensationalistic claim that Russia “hacked the election.”)

But you know what can be just as dangerous as fake news? Bad stories perpetuated by big institutional news organizations that have become too biased to notice.
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We’re not talking about Candy Crowley arguing with Mitt Romney during a presidential debate, and misleading millions of voters by mangling the facts. We’re not even talking about transparently partisan reporters like Jim Sciutto or Jim Acosta. We’re talking about CNN political analysts like Julian Zelizer, who claimed this summer that President Trump never made an Article 5 commitment to our NATO allies a month after Trump did. Rather than correcting what may have been an oversight (if we give him the benefit of the doubt), Zelizer rationalized his definitive assertion by alleging that “POTUS has sent mixed messages and there is reason to question his commitment.”

Trump said: “I am committing the United States to Article 5.” Even if you don’t trust the president, a banana is not an apple.
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These are some of the same people who perpetuated the "hands up, don't shoot" lie that has gotten several cops murdered by black identity extremists.  It is the lie that is driving the protest of "systematic oppression" by some NFL players that is doing great harm to the sport.  Harsanyi gives many more examples of CNN calling an apple a banana.

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