December 24, 2018
As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to review the year’s worst cases of media misquotes, misleading narratives, major corrections and straight-up fake news.
While last year’s fake reporting largely occurred during the media’s relentless pursuit to prove Russian collusion, this year’s list is much more varied. However, some themes emerged: stories about then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the U.S. border were routinely flagged for misinformation.
Without further ado, here is the list of 2018’s worst examples of fake news:
1. WAPO BLAMES BORDER PATROL FOR DEATH OF 7-YEAR-OLD MIGRANT
The Washington Post published a story in December focusing on a 7-year-old migrant child from Guatemala who died in border patrol custody.
Despite WaPo’s misleading headline suggesting border patrol was to blame for the girl’s death, the full timeline of events and statements from the girl’s father praising border agents revealed a different story.
2. CNN AND THE HILL SPREAD RETRACTED SEXUAL ASSAULT CLAIM AGAINST KAVANAUGH
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
CNN and The Hill both reported on a sexual assault claim against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in late September without ever mentioning that the claim had been quickly retracted.
effrey Catalan apologized for making a “mistake” in leveling the false claim against Kavanaugh, but CNN and The Hill’s initial reports on the claim failed to note the retraction. The Hill later retracted a tweet bolstering the claim and CNN updated its misleading report.
3. BOSTON GLOBE CORRECTS LIZ WARREN STORY — MAKES HER LESS NATIVE AMERICAN
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a DNA test in October seeking to prove her repeated claims that she has Native American ancestry.
The Boston Globe initially reported on the DNA test by explaining that Warren was somewhere between 1/32 and 1/512…