CNN is in some hot water for posting a fake news graphic during a segment ripping Donald Trump’s alleged threat to MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the cap on what was an overall bad week for the cable news foe of Trump.
The segment aired Friday on Jake Tapper’s show The Lead, in which he discussed the allegation that Trump allegedly tried to blackmail the hosts into apologizing by threatening to have the National Enquirer run a hit piece about their relationship. As the New York Post found, Tapper’s show used a cover of the National Enquirer that mentions a cheating scandal involving GOP Senator Ted Cruz — a cover that never actually existed.
“The cover — which has the headline ‘Heidi Cruz: Betrayed by Cheating Husband!’ and promised details on a ‘sordid threesome, sleazy love letters and sensational photo proof’ — has never appeared on the National Enquirer, according to sources at the magazine,” the report noted. “It seems that it may have been created as clickbait.”
The New York Post report noted that CNN is “taking the matter seriously,” though CNN didn’t respond to a request for comment from the newspaper.
This isn’t the first time that CNN has gotten into trouble for a story that turned out to be false. Earlier in the week, the network was forced to retract a story claiming that Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci’s had met with the head of a Russian investment fund just before Trump’s inauguration. The network issued an apology to Scaramucci, and the incident led to the resignation of three journalists involved in the story.
As the Associated Press noted, the incident was a black eye for CNN and gave some fodder to President Donald Trump, who often spars with the network and has referred to CNN as “fake news.” One staffer told the Associated Press that Trump felt “vindicated” after the retraction and its fallout, which he believed confirmed his belief that CNN is trying to undermine his presidency.
Just days after the story retraction, conservative journalist and provocateur James O’Keefe published a series of undercover videos that appeared to show the Russia story as being ratings-driven and pushed from the top levels of CNN’s management, the Associated Press noted.
It was not clear if the latest flap from CNN and the airing of the fake National Enquirer cover could have the same fallout as the story retracted earlier in the week, but the incident certainly won’t help the network’s image in the wake of an overall terrible week.
[Featured Image by Mario Tama/Getty Images]