by Amber Athey, The Daily Caller:
As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to review the year’s worst cases of media misquotes, misleading narratives, major corrections and straight-up fake news.
While last year’s fake reporting largely occurred during the media’s relentless pursuit to prove Russian collusion, this year’s list is much more varied. However, some themes emerged: stories about then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the U.S. border were routinely flagged for misinformation.
Without further ado, here is the list of 2018’s worst examples of fake news:
1. WAPO BLAMES BORDER PATROL FOR DEATH OF 7-YEAR-OLD MIGRANT
The Washington Post published a story in December focusing on a 7-year-old migrant child from Guatemala who died in border patrol custody.
Despite WaPo’s misleading headline suggesting border patrol was to blame for the girl’s death, the full timeline of events and statements from the girl’s father praising border agents revealed a different story.
2. CNN AND THE HILL SPREAD RETRACTED SEXUAL ASSAULT CLAIM AGAINST KAVANAUGH
CNN and The Hill both reported on a sexual assault claim against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in late September without ever mentioning that the claim had been quickly retracted.
Jeffrey Catalan apologized for making a “mistake” in leveling the false claim against Kavanaugh, but CNN and The Hill’s initial reports on the claim failed to note the retraction. The Hill later retracted a tweet bolstering the claim and CNN updated its misleading report.
3. BOSTON GLOBE CORRECTS LIZ WARREN STORY — MAKES HER LESS NATIVE AMERICAN
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a DNA test in October seeking to prove her repeated claims that she has Native American ancestry.
The Boston Globe initially reported on the DNA test by explaining that Warren was somewhere between 1/32 and 1/512 Native American. However, the paper eventually issued two corrections that damaged Warren’s ancestral claims even further.
“The generational range based on the ancestor that the report identified suggests she’s between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American,” The Globe admitted.
4. NYT ACCUSES NIKKI HALEY OF PURCHASING EXPENSIVE CURTAINS
The New York Times initially tied U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to expensive curtains hanging in the ambassador’s apartment in New York, writing, “Nikki Haley’s View of New York Is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701.”
However, NYT’s own article later admitted that the curtains were approved in 2016 and that Haley had no say in the matter.
5. MEDIA STILL BLAMING REPUBLICANS FOR STEELE DOSSIER
CNN’s Jim Sciutto, MSNBC’s Katy Tur, and MSNBC’s Ari Melber were all responsible for falsely claiming that Never-Trump Republicans were responsible for initial funding of the salacious Steele dossier.
Washington Free Beacon founder Paul Singer did pay Fusion GPS for standard opposition research, however, he stopped paying Fusion GPS well before they contracted Christopher Steele to create the dossier. That research was paid for solely by the DNC and the Clinton campaign.
This falsehood has been shared so many times that even former FBI director James Comeyhas repeated it.
6. CNN ANALYST PUBLISHES DUBIOUS REPORT ON ADDITIONAL KAVANAUGH ALLEGATIONS
CNN political analyst and Sentinel editor Brian Karem published a report in September claiming that “Montgomery County investigators” were looking into an additional allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Local police disputed that they were investigating any claims, and Karem later updated his reporting to indicate that his sources were not police, but rather random “investigators in Montgomery County.”
7. CNN ACCUSES TED CRUZ OF BEING AFRAID TO APPEAR ON THEIR NETWORK
CNN accused Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz of being “scared” to come on their programs in the wake of the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Sen. Ted Cruz blasted CNN for the falsehood, explaining on Twitter that he had done a 15-minute interview on the network the day prior.
“CNN has aired NONE of it,” Cruz complained. “Why not air the (entire) interview?
8. CNN SPREADS FALSE STATISTIC ON SCHOOL SHOOTING
After a May school shooting in Texas, CNN anchor Jim Sciutto and political correspondent Sara Murray both claimed that there had already been 22 school shootings in 2018.
CNN’s list of “school shootings” includes accidental firearm discharges, events that don’t involve any students, and domestic disputes — hardly the incidents that most people consider to be a school shooting.
9. NBC SAT ON INFORMATION THAT CONTRADICTED KAVANAUGH ALLEGATIONS
While NBC’s story is not incorrect, its choice to sit on evidence that contradicted a serious sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh earned them a spot on this list.
Celebrity porn lawyer Michael Avenatti claimed he knew a second woman who could back up gang rape allegations made against Kavanaugh by his client, Julie Swetnick.
That second woman actually contradicted the allegations in a phone interview with NBC News on September 30. Mysteriously, NBC chose not to publish this information until weeks later and after Kavanaugh had already been confirmed to the Supreme Court.
10. MCCLATCHY CLAIMS MUELLER HAS EVIDENCE THAT CORROBORATES PIECE OF DOSSIER
McClatchy reported in April that special counsel Robert Mueller had evidence that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen had been in Prague in the summer of 2016. The report appeared to corroborate a key part of the largely unverified Steele dossier.
But no other news outlets came forward to confirm McClatchy’s reporting and a spokesperson for Mueller’s team hinted to The Daily Caller News Foundation that the report may be false.
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, emphatically denied in December that Cohen had ever been in Prague as the dossier alleges.
11. JIM ACOSTA SAID ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WOULDN’T CLIMB BORDER
CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta got into an ugly, public battle with President Donald Trump over immigration in November. During the testy exchange, Acosta claimed that illegal immigrants would “not be” trying to climb over the U.S.-Mexico border wall.