CNN publishes false information … again
Late Monday night, CNN published yet another false news story.
CNN reported Kim Jong Un to be in “grave danger” after undergoing an invasive surgery. However, this story was quickly discovered to be false.
“There is nothing unusual going on in North Korea. It’s not true,” a Seoul government official told Yonhap on Tuesday. Yonhap also got a spokesman for President Moon Jae-in, Kang Min-seok, on the record to deny the report.
“No unusual signs have been identified inside North Korea,” Kang reportedly said. “There is nothing we can confirm with regard to Chairman Kim’s alleged health problem.”
The above information was also confirmed by Reuters.
Since its initial report on Monday night, CNN’s journalists have written numerous articles on the subject of Kim Jong Un, his health and his legacy, one article detailing his life in images. The initial report has been updated several times since Monday night, though the initial statement has yet to be corrected or redacted.
Earlier on Tuesday, CNN published a piece defending its misreporting, stating that “[t]he truth is, few people outside of Kim’s inner circle know for sure — his daily routine and health are some of North Korea’s most closely guarded secrets. In that environment, rumors and misinformation are almost inevitable.”
This, however, was not a statement issued as an apology for misreporting the facts but was CNN’s attempt to shift the blame away from its journalists, as well as an attempt to suggest that perhaps South Korea is wrong in its reporting. But, this isn’t the first time CNN has been caught reporting false information.
Just last week, CNN falsely reported that ventilators promised by Elon Musk had not been delivered to Californian hospitals in need. Musk quickly took to Twitter to defend himself, writing, “[w]hat I find most surprising is that CNN still exists.” He then created a thread of tweets proving the hospitals in question received his company’s ventilators. CNN then issued a report trying to defend itself and accuse Musk of lying, largely ignoring most of the evidence Musk provided.
CNN also refused to air a video montage created by the White House which proved the media, CNN included, downplayed the threat of the coronavirus in early months. Trump did this in response to many outlets claiming Trump himself had downplayed the threat of the virus. Once the network returned to the task briefing, its chyrons claimed Trump had turned the briefing into a “propaganda session.” Again, this is false reporting. You can read more about that story, here.
The question becomes whether CNN’s misreporting is due to gross incompetence, or mal intent. While both potential problems are troubling in their own right, all signs seem to point towards mal intent.
On Late Monday/early Tuesday, Trump retweeted Alan Dershowitz, who authored a piece for Newsmax, sharing his experience with CNN. In his piece, he said: “ … CNN does not tolerate criticism or correction on its own network. When I told the truth about CNN’s lies on several CNN programs, its top executive sent out an order banning me from its airwaves … At first, CNN denied I was canceled for my criticism, claiming it was just a change in programming, but eventually several people at the network confided the truth to me: you can’t criticize CNN and expect to be on that network.”
In his retweet, Trump said, “Great Alan. They are fake news!”
In 2019, National Review published an article that compiled some of CNN’s biggest lies up until that point, as well as examples of the unprofessional behavior and unabashed bias displayed by its hosts on the air. All information centered around one central idea: CNN pushing an anti-Trump narrative.
“CNN New Year’s Eve host Kathy Griffin in a now infamous photo held a bloody facsimile of Trump’s severed head — and then whined when she discovered that no one wished to listen to or watch such a ghoulish has-been celebrity,” said the article. “Anderson Cooper attacked a pro-Trump panelist by saying, “If he [Trump] took a dump on his desk, you would defend it!” CNN religious ‘expert’ Reza Aslan called Trump “this piece of sh**.” The late CNN cooking host Anthony Bourdain joked in an interview with TMZ that he’d like to poison Trump by serving him hemlock.”
But after all of this blatant bias and unprofessionalism, people still turn to CNN for factual reporting. This is startling, as the network’s position is very clear: it will say and do what needs to be said and done to destroy Trump’s name.
But why author a fake news story about Kim Jong Un? That answer is still not entirely clear. It could be to distract the American people from bigger stories. But CNN did take the opportunity to turn its own misreporting into an anti-Trump fluff piece.
In an article published on Tuesday morning titled “What we know for sure about North Korea and Kim Jong Un,” the network had this to say: “Kim Jong Un has been enjoying Donald Trump’s presidency. After Trump’s threats of ‘fire and fury’ turned to love letters and handshakes, the North Korean leader has largely gotten a free pass on a lot of destabilizing activities …”
How is this at all related to Kim Jong Un’s health? Simple, it’s not at all related. It is just another attempt of the network to divert attention away from its lies.
So no, CNN is not misinforming the public by accident, the network knows exactly what it’s doing. The litany of false information reported in the last few years, ending with Monday’s false report in regard to Kim Jong Un’s health, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the network’s lies.
At this point, the only thing we can expect from CNN is fake news.