Whether or not there’s substantial misconduct to uncover in the investigation of Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, it's made all the more complicated by CNN’s mishandling of engaging the relevant parties involved.
Today the outlet ran a story saying Gaetz’s 2018 Bahamas trip was a scheme to essentially blackmail Gaetz into favoring medical marijuana.
They lay out their findings and people are free to make up their own mind. However the conduct of the piece’s author, Paula Reid, does the work no favors.
For starters, it was inaccurate for CNN to say “a spokesman for Gaetz also declined to comment.”
Raheem Kassam of The National Pulse took to Twitter to point out CNN’s discrepancy. Gaetz’s spokespeople managed to send a reply by 4:11 PM today, but this wasn’t added in the initial story put out at 4:44 PM.
It was updated at 5:09 PM. But all the article quotes is "Matt Gaetz is a long-time policy expert on the subject and passed legislation on the matter as far back as 2013. To suggest he needed anyone else nudging him along is risible."
CNN left out the second part. They stopped short at "risible," not adding "and serves to further legitimize the admission from CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester that the network is simply carrying out a partisan attack on Rep. Gaetz to aid Democrats."
The recent sting by Project Veritas exposing Chester’s honest opinions left a sore spot in CNN’s public image. The “facts first” mantra fell by the wayside as the CNN Technical Director told an undercover journalist the outlet’s trust lust for ratings.
While initially it sounded like Chester’s remarks about how the deluge of Gaetz stories were examples of propaganda done on the behalf of the Democrats, CNN’s actions over recent days reflect a truth to Charlie’s statement.
On April 11th CNN reporter Gabby Orr was exposed for exactly what Paula Reid is seen guilty of today. They claimed Gaetz’s people did not respond in time to comment on a story about a claim that Gaetz wanted to meet President Trump, and was declined. The story itself was untrue according to Gaetz’s people. CNN updated halfway after the fact, without doing the full due diligence the occasion demanded.
A few days later on the 13th it happened again. CNN Legal Correspondent Paula Reid requested comment about a story claiming Gaetz used recreational drugs at a party in Orlando.
Again, Gaetz spokesman Harlan Hill replied back in time of the so-called “deadline” for the piece.
He referred to the Charlie Chester expose that established how CNN is seemingly using Gaetz stories for Democrat propaganda. All Ms. Reid was compelled to add, though? “A spokesman for Gaetz did not respond directly to CNN’s request for comment but challenged the use of anonymous sources.”