Here are ten of CNN’s top fake news moments of 2022:
Following the midterm elections, during which CNN constantly pointed to particular Republican candidates as “election deniers,” CNN failed to hold election denier Hakeem Jeffries to the same standard.
CNN ignored Jeffries’ record of denying the legitimacy of American elections. Over 100 times, election denier Jeffries attacked democracy by questioning the integrity of American elections.
“The more we learn about 2016 election the more ILLEGITIMATE it becomes. America deserves to know whether we have a FAKE President in the Oval Office #RussianInterference,” he tweeted in 2018.
“Keep pouting. History will never accept you as a legitimate President,” he tweeted at Trump in 2020.
In March, CNN’s former anchor Brian Stelter refused to retract false claims he purveyed on CNN. Stelter had falsely claimed Hunter’s “laptop from hell” emails were “Russian disinformation.”
“Hey, just curious, when did I claim ‘Hunter Biden’s laptop emails were likely Russian propaganda’? Can you send me the quote?” he sent in a direct message on Twitter to this reporter. Stelter was referencing a previous Breitbart News article in which Stelter was listed along with 14 others in the media for falsely claiming the laptop was Russian propaganda or disinformation.
In response, Stelter was questioned if he still believed Hunter’s emails may have been “Russian disinformation” or “made up.” Stelter was also given video evidence that shows him using the phrase “Russian disinformation” to refer to the emails and suggesting they may have been “made up.”
In December, CNN refused to mention the seventh dump of the “Twitter Files.”
The file revealed two days earlier how the FBI and intelligence community “discredited factual information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings both after and *before* The New York Post revealed the contents of his laptop on October 14, 2020,” Journalist Michael Shellenberger reported.
CNN’s decision to ignore one of the biggest stories of 2022 appeared to be part of a coordinated effort to tamp down publicity information about the Biden business family.
In May, the New York Post reported Hunter’s laptop repairman John Paul Mac Isaac sued CNN for defamation. Isaac alleged in the suit that CNN falsely accused him of committing treason.
“CNN’s broadcast of the false statement accuses the Plaintiff of committing an infamous crime, i.e., treason by working with the Russians to commit a crime against the United States of America by attempting to undermine American democracy and the 2020 Presidential election,” the reported suit reads.
Isaac told the Post the suit was intended to hold the media accountable for censoring real news.
“All I want now is for the rest of the country to know that there was a collective and orchestrated effort by social and mainstream media to block a real story with real consequences for the nation,” he said.
In April, CNN media personalities proliferated the now-debunked “seven-hour gap” hoax story originating with the January 6 Committee.
The media was aglow with articles about an alleged “seven-hour gap” in White House switchboard logs on January 6. That narrative was debunked after the gap was reportedly due to the use of ordinary landlines and cell phones. Before the narrative was debunked, CNN’s employees pushed it as true.
Susan Glasser, a staff writer for the New Yorker and CNN’s “global affairs analyst,” tweeted the alleged gap put “Nixon’s 18 minute gap to shame.”
Reporter Manu Raju tweeted the alleged false gap was genuine:
7 hour and 37 minute gap in Trump’s phone records on Jan. 6 https://t.co/0JDAoNgJRD
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 29, 2022
In March, CNN’s former Brian Stelter spent zero seconds on his former show Reliable Sources discussing the New York Times’ admission that Hunter’s “Laptop from Hell” was accurate.
Just a few days prior, Stelter had refused to walk back false claims that Hunter’s “laptop from hell” emails were “Russian disinformation.” Stelter made the claim Hunter’s laptop story was “Russian disinformation” on October 18, 2020, before the Times authenticated the laptop last month. Hunter’s laptop was authenticated by the New York Post in 2020.
So I guess @brianstelter will be covering the NYT/Hunter scandal on his media show this weekend. Looking forward to seeing the framing after this scorched earth @WendellHusebo lead on Breitbart. pic.twitter.com/cwh8HqyUqO
— Emma-Jo Morris (@EmmaJoNYC) March 19, 2022
CNN’s Gabby Orr and Pamela Brown reported that former President Donald Trump’s aids were “left speechless” by Cassidy Hutchinson before the January 6 Committee testimony. Hours later, the CNN report imploded when the credibility of Hutchinson’s testimony failed to stand up to scrutiny.
After Hutchinson’s highly praised testimony, the lead Secret Service agent in charge of former President Trump’s security detail offered to contradict Hutchinson’s testimony under oath.
Nevertheless, CNN’s second-ranked story on its website the day after the testimony was titled, “‘This is a bombshell’: Trump aides left speechless by Hutchinson.”
Speaking at the “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” forum in April, Stelter was asked by college freshman Christopher Phillips about CNN’s record of inaccurate reporting and suppression of news.
“You’ve all spoken extensively about Fox News being a purveyor of disinformation. But CNN is right up there with them,” Phillips said, citing the Russian collusion hoax, Jussie Smollett hoax, and Nick Sandmann hoax.
“And yes, they dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop affair as pure Russian disinformation with mainstream corporate journalists becoming little more than apologists and cheerleaders for the regime,” Phillips added.
Stelter responded by dismissing CNN’s misreporting as a “right-wing narrative.”
“I think you’re describing a different channel than the one that I watch,” Stelter said “But I understand that that is a popular right-wing narrative about CNN.”
In January, the White House contradicted CNN’s reporting about a phone conversation between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. CNN reporter Natasha Bertrand, who was covering the phone call, later deleted her tweet detailing the conversation.
CNN, citing an anonymous source in Ukraine, originally reported that Biden told Zelensky the Ukrainian capital would be “sacked” and occupied by Russia in February after the ground froze. The report also alleged Biden would send no U.S. military personnel or advanced military equipment if Russia attacked Ukraine. The report was consistent with Biden’s published statement claiming that he would not help in the event of a “minor incursion.”
CNN also initially claimed the meeting between the two presidents went poorly and that Zelensky allegedly told Biden to “calm down” after Biden maintained a Russian invasion was “imminent.” The Ukrainian government had repeatedly stated in public it had no reason to believe that was true.
After CNN’s initial report, CNN reporter Bertrand, who was covering the phone call, deleted her tweet detailing the Biden/Zelensky conversation. Just before the tweet was deleted, White House National Security spokeswoman Emily Horne issued a statement indicating CNN’s report was “not true.”
CNN hired Bertrand in 2021 after she reported a debunked, false, and discredited Politico story on October 19, 2020, which used “dozens of former intel officials” to push a false and misleading narrative about the origins of Hunter’s laptop.
The discredited Politico story was published to discredit Emma-Jo Morris’ “Laptop from Hell” story, which she first broke in the New York Post just days prior. The debunked Politico headline still remains on the site.
In December 2022, former deputy director of National Intelligence (DNI) Cliff Sims said he warned Bertrand that Hunter’s laptop was not Russian disinformation before she wrote the debunked Politico story.
Despite the misreporting, CNN aired a promo of Bertrand in March: “I’m Natasha Bertrand in Brussels, and this is CNN.”