ABC Runs Massive Fake News on Manafort, Accuses Him of Killing 5


Liberal new outlets get themselves all spun up whenever President Donald Trump and his supporters call them the “fake news” media, as though their journalistic integrity is simply beyond reproach and the description has no basis in reality.

Yet, they have shown repeatedly over the past two years that they will run with unverified stories based on anonymous sources that are extremely misleading, if not blatantly outright false, if they think it will harm Trump or his associates and supporters.

The latest example of “fake news” to fall in the outright false category came from ABC News and a chyron graphic the network ran on screen Wednesday during footage of Trump speaking. The chyron falsely proclaimed that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manfort had been charged with, and pleaded guilty to, manslaughter, according to The Daily Caller.

ABC briefly reported on screen that “Manafort pleads guilty to 5 charges of Manslaughter,” a false alert that was quickly taken down and retracted and resulted in ABC issuing an apology to Manafort as well as viewers.

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According to NBC News, Manafort has been charged with various lobbying and tax-related crimes — such as conspiracy, failure to disclose overseas bank accounts, failure to register as a lobbyist, money laundering, obstruction of justice and witness tampering — but not murder or manslaughter or any other sort of violent crime.

As noted, ABC News retracted and corrected the “fake news” alert and issued a statement of apology for the grievous error.

“We regret and apologize for the false lower third graphic that aired during our special report. We are investigating how incorrect information was in our system and how and why it was allowed to air,” ABC stated in a tweet.

“We apologize to our viewers and to Mr. Manafort. There simply is no excuse for this sort of mistake,” ABC added.

ABC is correct that there is no excuse for the horrific mistake, but it will be interesting to see what sort of explanation it eventually provides, if any, once the “investigation” into how the incorrect information ended up being broadcast is completed.

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One possibility is that the false chyron was created as a sick joke by some Trump-hating employee or intern working behind the scenes in ABC’s newsroom, but how that false chyron proceeded to be cleared to be broadcast over the air is a big problem for the network.

ABC should consider itself lucky if it manages to escape this instance of blatant “fake news” without being sued for defamation, libel or slander by Manafort, who could conceivably and legitimately argue that ABC’s atrocious mistake has, in effect, prevented him from receiving a fair trail by tainting a potential jury pool.

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If ABC takes swift action and holds to account whoever turns out to be responsible for the mistake, the network could save some face and cover their butts.

In the meantime, for those media outlets decrying Trump’s labeling of them as “fake news,” look no further than this glaring mistake and retraction from ABC as evidence for why the moniker is so apt and seems to fit the liberal media so well.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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