CNN Slams Conway ‘Lie,’ Fails to Retract Muslim Ban Death Hoax

On Friday’s CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, on her final day doing the show, host Costello charged that Kellyanne Conway was telling a “lie” when the Donald Trump advisor initially mis-stated on the day before that a terrorist attack had occurred in Bowling Green, Kentucky, several years ago.

But Costello’s CNN show has so far not corrected CNN political commentator Errol Louis’s debunked assertion from a couple of days earlier that President Trump’s recent travel ban had resulted in an Iraqi woman dying while waiting to come to the U.S. for medical treatment. In fact, Louis appeared to double down on the hoax on Twitter as he mocked a Trump supporter who tweeted his mistake to him by making a snarky comment. Louis: “Hey Chris quit watching @FoxNews affiliates!”

Louis even appeared as a guest on Sunday’s Reliable Sources to discuss Conway’s mistake in spite of refusing to correct his own.

Also of note, on Friday’s show, Costello three times claimed that it took Conway 13 days to correct her statement — even eliciting apparent agreement from fellow CNNers Jeff Zeleny and Rebecca Berg — until Brian Stelter finally corrected her that it was only 13 hours, illustrating how easy it can be to get one word wrong, and undermining her assertion Conway was telling a deliberate “lie.”
https://www.mrctv.org/embed/197926
On Friday’s CNN Newsroom, at 9:21 a.m., ET, after recalling Conway’s Bowling Green comments, and after then playing her “alternative facts” comment from a few ago on NBC’s Meet the Press, Costello turned to Zeleny and got the timeline wrong as she posed: “Perhaps this was just an alternative fact because remember when Kellyanne Conway said this. … Plus, Jeff, it did take her 13 days to correct the record. Correct?” Her claim that the retraction took 13 days is especially odd because Costello noted in the introduction that the comments were only just made the day before.

Zeleny did not correct her timeline mistake as he began: “Right, I mean, alternative facts aren’t anything I learned in journalism school…”

At 10:13 a.m. ET, in the second hour of her show, Costello brought up the story again: “Donald Trump’s travel ban sparked confusion for travelers — those living in the seven Muslim-majority countries that are affected — and apparently one of his top aides. And I’m talking about Kellyanne Conway, a senior Trump advisor, defended the ban with a lie.”

A bit later, she turned to Berg and repeated her incorrect “13 days” claim as she posed: “Well, Rebecca, here’s the thing, though. Kellyanne Conway is in charge of messaging Mr. Trump’s, you know, announcements to the public. She’s in charge of doing that, and it’s a concern when she says an absolute falsehood, and then 13 days later admits, ‘Oh, maybe I misspoke.'”

Berg failed to catch the mistake as she began her response: “It’s absolutely a concern, Carol. I agree with you…”

Turning to Stelter, as she imagined Trump’s team might accuse the media of lying, Costello preemptively asserted that “we correct our mistakes.”

Stelter finally informed Costello of her timeline mistake as he recalled the Time reporter who mistakenly claimed President Trump had removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office:

STELTER: There was an example on Inauguration Day. Zeke Miller of Time magazine made a mistake inside the Oval Office. He didn’t see the MLK bust.  He believed it has been moved — it hadn’t been moved. He apologized 30 minutes later. Conway waited 13 hours to correct the record on this.

COSTELLO:l Thirteen days.

STELTER: She hasn’t — well, 13 hours — and she hasn’t actually apologized for this.

COSTELLO: Hours, I’m sorry.

Moments later, complaining about Conway, Stelter fretted: “She’s sowing fear. She’s creating fear and confusion, and that’s not a helpful thing when we’re talking about a controversial policy.”

Costello repeated her own correction:

COSTELLO: So I’m going to correct a minor mistake I just made. It’s 13 hours, not 13 days.

STELTER: And that’s what we do.

COSTELLO: That’s what we do.

STELTER: We correct our mistakes.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Friday, February 3, CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello:

9:21 a.m. ET
CAROL COSTELLO: Perhaps this was just an alternative fact because remember when Kellyanne Conway said this.

(Clip of Kellyanne and NBC’s Chuck Todd from Meet the Press)

COSTELLO: Plus, Jeff, it did take her 13 days to correct the record. Correct?

JEFF ZELENY: Right, I mean, alternative facts aren’t anything I learned in journalism school…

(…)

10:13 a.m. ET
Donald Trump’s travel ban sparked confusion for travelers — those living in the seven Muslim-majority countries that are affected — and apparently one of his top aides. And I’m talking about Kellyanne Conway, a senior Trump advisor, defended the ban with a lie.

(…)

COSTELLO: Well, Rebecca, here’s the thing, though. Kellyanne Conway is in charge of messaging Mr. Trump’s, you know, announcements to the public. She’s in charge of doing that, and it’s a concern when she says an absolute falsehood, and then 13 days later admits, “Oh, maybe I misspoke.”

REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It’s absolutely a concern, Carol. I agree with you.

(…)

COSTELLO: Here’s the thing — and this is something, it’s a challenge for journalists. Right, Brian? Because you can hear what Trump supporters are going to say” “You know, the media makes mistakes all the time. They lie, too.”

STELTER: Right, I don’t think we lie, but we do make mistakes. That’s for sure.

COSTELLO: But we do correct our mistakes.

STELTER: There was an example on Inauguration Day. Zeke Miller of Time magazine made a mistake inside the Oval Office. He didn’t see the MLK bust.  He believed it has been moved — it hadn’t been moved. He apologized 30 minutes later. Conway waited 13 hours to correct the record on this.

COSTELLO:l Thirteen days.

STELTER: She hasn’t — well, 13 hours — and she hasn’t actually apologized for this.

COSTELLO: Hours, I’m sorry.

STELTER: She’s only said that she meant something else. Rebecca Berg made a key point. Kellyanne Conway is paid by the taxpayers — she’s paid by us. We all expect — not just journalists — but normal people watching this program expect a certain level of attention to detail and attention to the facts.

And ultimately, it’s not about journalists who are going to be bothered by this, it’s about all the people online on the social media that Larry (Sabato) was talking about who look at this and laugh. But there’s something more than just laughter, too, she’s sowing fear. She’s creating fear and confusion, and that’s not a helpful thing when we’re talking about a controversial policy.

COSTELLO: So I’m going to correct a minor mistake I just made. It’s 13 hours, not 13 days.

STELTER: And that’s what we do.

COSTELLO: That’s what we do.

STELTER: We correct our mistakes.

H/T NewsBusters

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