CNN’s Institutional Bias Challenge, With Jake Tapper

CNN’s Jake Tapper re-tweeted a challenge: anyone who tries calling him out as biased “will fail every time”.


I took the bait, reminding him of when he allowed a public relations official (who played a Safety Board Managing Director at one point in real life) to misinform the public on an airline disaster.  This, just as six actual experts–high level whistle-blowers from that investigation–were trying to clear the air.  The PR guy evoked George Tenet, distorting fact with fantasy.  See’m go here, with our corrections:

Simply put, the evidence-backed claims the whistle-blowers were making didn’t fit into the false narrative–blaming the crash on a one-of-a-kind fuel tank explosion–that CNN and the PR guy had been touting for nearly two decades. We made the video-correction because Tapper and CNN ignored journalistic standards by refusing to allow us to correct their source’s numerous inaccuracies after we were, in Bizarro World fashion, specifically named in the broadcast as being inaccurate.  After reminding Tapper and two other relevant CNN-ers of our right to equal time via Twitter and email on many occasions, no one has responded.  So I’ve resorted to the nuclear option: shooting off a formal PDF letter to Mr. Tapper, cc’d to CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ host Brian Stelter.

Here’s an excerpt:

As you know, journalism standards require that we be provided equal time since our team of expert investigators is better qualified to address the facts discussed on the offending broadcast than the public relations official you allowed on. Indeed, our team includes original, high-level investigators with leading roles in the relevant Safety Board investigation and with first-hand knowledge of the facts and circumstances of the crash. Your decision not to allow us to correct the record gives the appearance of an institutional bias on your part.

Since you recently re-tweeted “If you try to call out @jaketapper for being ‘biased,’ you will fail every time”, I am again bringing this issue to your attention. President-elect Trump and others have recently criticized CNN for airing alleged FakeNews stories, and without a proper correction to your broadcast or equal time for us to respond to it, that uncorrected show may qualify as a legitimate instance of that type of news.

For more on how CNN and other news outlets have misinformed the public on the crash of TWA Flight 800, read Official TWA 800 Misinformation Unchecked.