CNN And Politico Jump On Completely Normal Russian Spy Plane Flight In DC


Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Holmes Lybrand Fact Check Editor at The Daily Caller News Foundation
Font Size:

CNN and Politico overplayed a banal and legal flight Wednesday by a Russian spy plane.

The Russian plane flew across D.C. in complete compliance with the Treaty on Open Skies. CNN and Politico were quick to jump on the story, however, covering the non-story with more than 1,000 words between them.

If ever a story was written for the headlines, it would be now.

CNN ran, “Unarmed Russian Air Force jet overflies the Pentagon, Capitol, CIA.” Politico originally went with “Russian spy plane buzzes D.C.,” but updated it to the more incendiary “Russian spy plane trolls Trump.”

Both outlets waited until the second paragraph to explain to readers that this was part of the “Treaty on Open Skies” from 1992.

Jon Wolfsthal, former special assistant for national security to President Barack Obama, pointed out that the flight path would have received pre-approval from the Department of Defense.

CNN even reached out to the Russian Embassy for a request to comment on this completely banal event.

Politico, for its part, included a strange observation attempting to tie North Korea into the normal event. “The flight came at a tense time in U.S.-Russian relations, and on a day when jitters were especially high because of nuclear brinkmanship between Trump and North Korean leaders,” the article said.

CNN and Politico were likely enticed by clickbait, and since Russia, spy planes, and D.C. were all part of the story, clicks are sure to roll in.

Follow Holmes on Twitter

Send tips to

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact