The meltdown of CBS News: One day later, we were puzzled.
Did CBS News really do that, we found ourselves wondering. On May 10, did they really publish the crazy news report we looked at yesterday, via that link from Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker piece?
For yesterday’s post, just click this.
Out of curiosity, we clicked Kessler's link again—and sure enough, there it was! In the CBS report as it now appears, Sharyl Attkisson explains the way the Benghazi talking points were formulated in mid-September through an extensive e-mail exchange.
Attkisson presents quotations from different versions of the talking points. She also seems to present quotations from various e-mails. But before you see the quotations from the e-mails, this bizarre paragraph appears:
ATTKISSON (5/10/13): E-mails were provided by the Administration to certain Congressional committees for limited review. The committees were not permitted to copy the e-mails, so they made handwritten notes. Therefore, part of the quoted e-mails may be paraphrased.Part of the quoted e-mails may be paraphrased! Having offered that hall-of-mirrors style advisory, Attkisson presents an apparent set of quotations from various e-mails.
Or maybe they’re just paraphrases! There is no way to tell!
As it now stands, that report is borderline crazy. The original report was worse. We learn from an asterisked Editor’s Note that, due to an editing error (wink wink), that paragraph didn’t appear in this report when it was first posted. You simply saw the quotations from the e-mails, without any warning that the (apparent) quotations may be paraphrases.
Most likely, this is a con. Most likely, Attkisson posted a bunch of quotations from the e-mails without knowing that some of the quotations actually weren’t quotations. Most likely, CBS News tried to cover its tracks once the error appeared, creating the bizarre excuse found in that Editor’s Note.
Is that what happened? We don’t know. But even as the report now appears, it contains one of the craziest paragraphs we’ve ever seen in a news report. As you read this bizarre paragraph, you’re looking at the ongoing intellectual meltdown of your press elite:
ATTKISSON (5/10/13): E-mails were provided by the Administration to certain Congressional committees for limited review. The committees were not permitted to copy the e-mails, so they made handwritten notes. Therefore, part of the quoted e-mails may be paraphrased.Part of the quoted e-mails may be paraphrased! Amazingly, CBS News doesn’t seem to understand how crazy that paragraph is.
One day later, we were puzzled. Had we imagined that crazy report? Had the report really been posted in the way we thought?
We must have made some mistake, we thought. We must have misunderstood what we saw.
We looked again, and here’s what we found:
The people at CBS News are still crazy after these twenty-four hours!