Fox & MSNBC Not Properly Vetting Sources? Couldn't Be.
So, MSM has been caught with its hand in the cookie jar. Quelle Surprise!
David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, had come forth and identified himself as the source of a Fox News Channel story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.
Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
The Eisenstadt claim had mistakenly been delivered to Shuster by a producer and was used in a political discussion Monday afternoon, MSNBC said.
"The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air," said Jeremy Gaines, network spokesman. "We recognized the error almost immediately and ran a correction on air within minutes."
Gaines told the Times that someone in the network's newsroom had presumed the information solid because it was passed along in an e-mail from a colleague.
The hoax was limited to the identity of the source in the story about Palin — not the Fox News story itself. While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony.
Originally put out by Fox, David Shuster finds himself caught up in controversy, again. I just love how even though they realized the error in peddling what always amounted to little more than rumor, that they feel the need to say that only the source is really in question. It was poor journalism, regardless of whether the story was true or not.
BTW, I find it worse that Shuster decided to take his cue from Fox News, than the fact that Fox decided to run the story. It should have never been run in serious news circles, but beyond that, it should have never made it beyond Fox. But, then again, Shuster worked first for Fox and more recently for MSNBC.