CNN’s John King Tuesday afternoon reported live on-air he was receiving messages from aides of rival campaigns that Vice President Joe Biden was considering filing an injunction against the release of the results from Monday’s Iowa Caucuses.
Citing the “the breaking news rush,” King is now calling his decision to report those rumors was “stupid.”
Important: Team Biden says talk it may challenge IA release plans 100% untrue. In the breaking news rush my discuss… https://t.co/EtY0lF7PGl— John King (@John King)1580843194.0
King is correct.
The Biden campaign quickly denied the rumors:
Biden aide on report that he would file an injunction to stop the release of the Iowa results: “That is 100% false,… https://t.co/PrY83Iltch— Sam Stein (@Sam Stein)1580841205.0
But King’s irresponsible sharing of the rumors fueled articles in the right-wing media echo system. Also fueling the incorrect information was the GOP’s Rapid Response Director, Steve Guest, wrongly characterizing then amplifying the false – or at best, unproven – claim.
CNN's John King reports that the Biden campaign may seek a court injunction to halt this afternoon’s release of the… https://t.co/wqRcN00nTn— Steve Guest (@Steve Guest)1580840008.0
“Some of the other campaigns, I’m looking at messages,” King told viewers as he read them in real-time. “I’m looking to messages to aides from other campaigns who said they are hearing that the Biden campaign is going to file an injunction.”
“We don’t know that that’s true,” King properly added.
Right-wing websites including Town Hall, RedState, and Hot Air all published articles inaccurately characterizing King’s remarks, with titles like:
CNN: Biden Considering Filing Injunction Against Iowa Results
Biden lost, right? Update: Injunction? Update: Biden
Biden Campaign Hints That It May Seek Court Order to Stop Partial Release of Caucus Vote Tallies
On social media, many are still pushing the false information.
But the damage has been done.
King called it “stupid.” Given how predictable it is that right-wing media would twist his irresponsible reporting, he’s right.
Later, chances are right-wing websites and pundits will attack CNN as “fake news,” despite falsely interpreting his remarks.
UPDATE: Of course, they already have. (We will not link to it.)