A September 2016 email sent to senior Trump campaign officials directed them to documents that had already been publicly released by WikiLeaks, per The Washington Post. Initial reporting on the email this morning from CNN said the email was sent on September 4 — WaPo reports that it was actually September 14 — and left it an open question whether the documents had been previously released.
Why it matters: WaPo’s reporting massively changes the significance of this story, indicating that the sender — a still unknown “Michael J. Erickson” — might have just been trying to alert Trump campaign officials to the publicly available WikiLeaks cache. It caps off a week of huge reporting blunders on the Russia probe after ABC News mischaracterized Michael Flynn’s planned testimony and Reuters and Bloomberg misreported the target of a Mueller subpoena of Deutsche Bank.
Worth noting: It does remain a possibility that the email was a veiled attempt by WikiLeaks officials to alert the Trump campaign of their document release as Donald Trump Jr. exchanged direct messages with WikiLeaks’ official Twitter account a few weeks after the email.
Comments by Greta Van Susteren on Facebook:
AGAIN? SO SOON?
The news business is killing the news business! In just a short time we learn that NBC management tried to kill Ronan Farrow’s report about Harvey Weinstein for reasons that are unacceptable, ABC last Friday had to correct a report (that not only most every news organization repeated but the market dove 400 points because of it…and the correct came hours and hours and hours after the initial false report), Reuters this week had to correct its reporting…and now this (below from Axios.) It is very hard for good decent hardworking reporters (of which there are many) to fight the onslaught of the fake news criticism when major news organizations are making these inexcusable and horrible blunders. It hurts all of us in the business as people think it is all of us who doing shoddy work.
It is not that we in the media are not human and thus immune from making mistakes but all of these mistakes are ‘self inflicted’ by news organizations doing sloppy work, over use of anonymous sources, and not fact checking. There is no excuse for these mistakes.
And? these mistakes have consequences – not just for the individuals who are subjects of the bad reporting and that is lousy for the individual- but also for the American people. It is important that the American people get correct / factual information.
Confidence in the media is important and these errors are undermining that. I blame in large part the management of these news organizations – they are supposed to ‘manage’ the news organizations — including not putting insane pressure on reporters to get the story first without adequate fact checking and sourcing. Management must also play it straight – not try to influence reporters reporting t meet any particular agenda. Imagine if NBC’s Ronan Farrow, a young reporter, did not have the strength to stand up to his bosses. Scroll back and read the report about CNN and Corey Lewandowski.