CBS “News” anchor Norah O’Donnell broke company policy this week when she falsely reported that Donald Trump lied about the FBI seizing his passports.
“NEW: According to a DOJ official, the FBI is NOT in possession of former President Trump’s passports. Trump had accused the FBI of stealing his three passports during the search of his Mar-a-Lago home,” she tweeted.
The New York Post reports that CBS has a stringent two-source protocol by which reporters must abide before publishing unconfirmed news, yet O’Donnell spoke to only one.
The Justice Department announced it had taken Trump’s passports hours after the O’Donnell Bomb. She would have likely avoided reporting actual fake news had she waited for a second source.
There had been a time that an established news agency would hold O’Donnell accountable for such a blunder. Not today. This is the same CBS that blamed climate change, not screen time and COVID lockdowns, for children being less active than their parents were.
CBS has since tried to spin O’Donnell’s sloppy reporting by saying in a statement that a DOJ source told her the FBI did not have possession of his passports at the time Trump claimed they did.
A spin-job this dishonest couldn’t even fool in-house CBS reporters, a group never mistaken for the most journalistically sound.
CBS reporters spoke angrily about the incident to the Post — anonymously to avoid O’Donnell scolding them like a makeup artist.
“This is an embarrassment for CBS that the face of your network can’t even make a second call to a Justice Department rep,” one CBS source told the outlet. “It’s Journalism 101.”
The staffer called O’Donnell “desperate,” an astute description of her career. O’Donnell ranks last place every night on broadcast news. CBS is non-competitive with NBC and ABC in the evening in part because of O’Donnell’s off-putting demeanor.
Second, her hatred toward Trump blinded her to her once journalist instincts. She was so giddy to accuse him of lying about the passports she overlooked both company policy and common sense, both of which say to ask a second source before going live with a supposed bombshell.
The truth does not matter, especially to the corporate press. These journalists lie to the public as if they still believe them. They don’t. No one believes O’Donnell because no one is watching to believe her.
Norah O’Donnell is the Jason La Canfora of political reporting: reckless, inaccurate, and unpopular.
Just another nail in the coffin to the credibility of the national media and its protocols.