Hard on the heels of a very special Reliable Sources almost entirely devoted to talking about Fox News, CNN continued to post online articles about FNC. You could read about Trump masterfully splitting the Fox News audience, or you could peruse Brian Stelter’s exposé about the “personal feud” between Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly. The latter, a thinly sourced piece with little news and much speculation, was given a little extra PR push when the Editor of CNN Money gave the story his personal endorsement:
But there’s a problem with Mr. Mooney’s tweet, and it’s this:
Megyn Kelly feels “betrayed” by Bill O’Reilly…
There is no such quote in Brian Stelter’s “great story.” Ms. Kelly is not quoted as saying she felt betrayed, and what’s more no one else is quoted saying Megyn Kelly felt betrayed. One anonymous Megyn Kelly “supporter” (who may or may not know her) described the situation as “a betrayal” but did not say that’s how Megyn Kelly felt about it. Yet here’s the editor of CNN Money somehow divining that Ms. Kelly feels “betrayed.” Where did this come from? Did he just make it up?
We expected the author of the piece to step in and clear this up. And indeed Brian Stelter saw the tweet and quickly acted—to retweet it to his 333,000 followers, fake quote and all!
The Cable Gamer stuck her nose in and suggested to both Mr. Stelter and Mr. Mooney that a correction should be made for this fabricated quote:
But as we hit “publish” there has been no response to our tweet by Mr. Stelter or Mr. Mooney, and therefore no correction.
Publishing a fake quote is bad enough. Refusing to correct it takes things to a whole different level. And more ominously, it suggests intent.