Pressure is slowly building for news organizations that breathlessly hyped the 2016 Steele dossier which targeted Donald Trump to correct the record. Sara Fischer, the media columnist for Axios, says the dossier was blown apart this month when its primary source was charged with lying to the FBI.
“It’s one of the most egregious journalistic errors in modern history, and the media’s response to its own mistakes has so far been tepid,” she wrote. “Outsized coverage of the unvetted document drove a media frenzy at the start of Donald Trump’s presidency that helped drive a narrative of collusion between former President Trump and Russia.”
Washington Post columnist Erik Wemple has sharply criticized CNN for failing to retract its claim that British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier is “corroborated.” (Last Friday, the Washington Post corrected and removed large portions of two articles relating to coverage of the dossier.) Wemple argues that CNN had provided breathless, splashy coverage of its alleged corroboration of the dossier, but only muted and grudging airtime for the indictment that undermined the dossier’s claims.
“That brand of asymmetry helps explain why many people mistrust CNN,” he wrote. No kidding.