7 Journalists Explain How The Media Got This Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Completely Wrong
The 2016 election was rocked yet again on Friday afternoon when FBI Director James Comey sent an email to Congress stating that the agency would investigate Hillary Clinton's emails again after they discovered new ones. The story was immediately picked up by countless media outlets covering the election, and these seven journalists perfectly called out how the media messed up the coverage of this investigation.
NBC News tweeted "FBI says it will investigate new emails from Hillary Clinton's server" and linked to an article with the headline "Emails Related to Clinton Case Found in Anthony Weiner Investigation." Politico sent out a Tweet saying, "#BREAKING: FBI reopens @HillaryClinton email server investigation." Al Jazeera's article on the topic also mentions the FBI's supposed reopening of the Democratic nominee's email case, and starts by stating, "The FBI says it will investigate whether there is classified information in newly discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton's private servers."
These are only a few examples of the many news outlets who rushed to publish articles and social media posts framing the emails referred to in Comey's letter as originating from Clinton's server, as definitely being related to the investigation of her emails, and to the FBI as "reopening" the investigation.
In fact, none of these statements were accurate. And, despite the frenzy many of their peers were helping to spread, a group of journalists on Twitter didn't shy away from pointing out the incompetence engulfing this story's reporting:
1. NBC's Tom Winter
Winter's tweets explain why it's inaccurate to state this investigation as being "reopened." It was, in fact, never closed.
2. Huffington Post's Sam Stein
Pretty much sums it up.
3. Media Matters' Eric Boehlert
Boehlert's tweets are a reminder of how it easy it is to get caught in a sea of headlines all pushing the same narrative and foregoing the fact-checking process because of our assumptions that someone must have some concrete evidence to back up claims being made by a ton of different people.
4. Allied Progress' Karl Frisch
5. New York Times' Paul Krugman
He makes good points.
6. Newsweek And Vanity Fair's Kurt Eichenwald
Eichenwald has been one of the most informative reporters on this story thus far. His knowledge of FBI protocols and his efforts to speak with agents on the inside help in adding context to this situation, and both the piece he published clarifying the available facts about this controversy and his Twitter feed are all useful sources for those who feel any sort of confusion.
7. Foreign Policy's David Rothkopf
He's not beating around the bush here: Media, you screwed up.
The events of the past 24 hours definitely put into perspective how important it is for journalists to be sure what we're publishing is factual. The Clinton campaign will likely suffer damage as a result of the inaccurate reporting of this story, which, whether you support her or not, shouldn't feel like something to celebrate.