A tough week for NBC!

It was a bad week for NBC, and that's a shame.  In other words, I know a lot of good people who work at that network (or the Spanish Telemundo), and they are hardworking journalists.

So let's recall NBC's very bad week.

First, Lawrence O'Donnell got ahead of his source and presented a lie to a national audience.  He said his source had told him that a Russian bigwig had cosigned a Trump loan at a German bank.  Within 24 hours, that story and that source were out running for their lives.  Why?  The source had not seen any of the documents.  It was your classic "we want Trump to fail" so we will just repeat whatever anyone tells us as long it makes the president look bad.

Second, the media ran with another one about President Trump denying citizenship to children of U.S. military personnel.  It was huge, and several Spanish-speaking news services called me for an opinion.  I told them to research the story further, because it did not make any sense.

Not much later, someone at NBC had to do another correction:

Correction: Experts who have looked at new USCIS policy say it applies if a service member adopts a child overseas, but children born to service members on deployment would still automatically get citizenship. I deleted tweets with the incorrect info. 

OK, so I guess we all make mistakes, right?

Yes, but this is not about honest mistakes.

This is about writing an anti-Trump headline before anyone has researched the story.  In business, they call it consumer fraud, and someone usually loses his job.  In journalism, they tweet an apology and prepare for another opportunity to make Trump look bad.

According to a recent Pew survey, only 21% have a lot of trust in the media.  The other 79% have some or none at all.

I wonder why so many Americans are skeptical!  NBC just gave them two good reasons this week!

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Image: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.

It was a bad week for NBC, and that's a shame.  In other words, I know a lot of good people who work at that network (or the Spanish Telemundo), and they are hardworking journalists.

So let's recall NBC's very bad week.

First, Lawrence O'Donnell got ahead of his source and presented a lie to a national audience.  He said his source had told him that a Russian bigwig had cosigned a Trump loan at a German bank.  Within 24 hours, that story and that source were out running for their lives.  Why?  The source had not seen any of the documents.  It was your classic "we want Trump to fail" so we will just repeat whatever anyone tells us as long it makes the president look bad.

Second, the media ran with another one about President Trump denying citizenship to children of U.S. military personnel.  It was huge, and several Spanish-speaking news services called me for an opinion.  I told them to research the story further, because it did not make any sense.

Not much later, someone at NBC had to do another correction:

Correction: Experts who have looked at new USCIS policy say it applies if a service member adopts a child overseas, but children born to service members on deployment would still automatically get citizenship. I deleted tweets with the incorrect info. 

OK, so I guess we all make mistakes, right?

Yes, but this is not about honest mistakes.

This is about writing an anti-Trump headline before anyone has researched the story.  In business, they call it consumer fraud, and someone usually loses his job.  In journalism, they tweet an apology and prepare for another opportunity to make Trump look bad.

According to a recent Pew survey, only 21% have a lot of trust in the media.  The other 79% have some or none at all.

I wonder why so many Americans are skeptical!  NBC just gave them two good reasons this week!

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Image: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.