CNN made a false claim Monday afternoon and various journalists ran wild with it.
It all started with a segment on CNN’s The Lead which quoted prominent white nationalist figure Richard Spencer as wondering if Jews were actually people. CNN host Jim Sciutto said, “of Jews Spencer said, ‘one wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem.'”
“That is an alt right leader Richard Spencer talking about Jews,” Sciutto added. CNN then had a panel with RealClearPolitics’ Rebecca Berg and The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser with the chyron “ALT-RIGHT FOUNDER QUESTIONS IF JEWS ARE PEOPLE.”
Except, Spencer did not make those remarks about Jews and was instead talking about political consultants on television.
“This was the year when random shitlords on Twitter, anonymous podcast hosts, and dissidents working deep within the Beltway Right proved that they objectively understood politics better than the Republican strategists and the political consultants snarking at us every night on MSNBC,” Spencer said at a white nationalist conference Saturday.He added, “It’s not just that they are leftists and cucks. It’s not just that many are genuinely stupid. Indeed one wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem animated by some dark power to repeat whatever talking point John Oliver stated the night before.”
Golem are clay creatures from Jewish folklore that get brought to life.
Oh goddammit you guys. Alt-right founder Richard Spencer was very very very clearly talking about media, not Jews, with soulless comments pic.twitter.com/tnC7xFhFlg
— ElizabethNolanBrown (@ENBrown) November 21, 2016
CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter has been railing against fake news for the past week or so. He said Sunday, “As a society we need to help each other distinguish between reliable and bogus stories. The more media literate you are, the less likely you will be tricked by propaganda, and that is what it is propaganda.”
On Monday, Stelter spread the false CNN story.
The Daily Caller reached out to Stelter and asked him if he had any comment about his network spreading a false story and he did not return a comment. CNN has also not responded to an email inquiring if they will apologize for getting their quote wrong on air.
Here are other journalists who have spread the CNN misquote.
Alanna Vagianos of The Huffington Post
Rosie Gray of Buzzfeed
Adam Serwer of the Atlantic
Maggie Haberman of The New York Times