CNN jumps the gun, reports Coast Guard training exercise in the Potomac today as an actual attack, as Ed Morrissey writes:
Earlier today, CNN broke news that a Coast Guard ship had opened fire on another boat in the Potomac area, expending ten rounds, as Washington DC spent the day commemorating the 9/11 attacks. Later, it turned out that no shots had been fired at all. CNN reacted to radio traffic of a Coast Guard drill and ran with the story without confirming it. Now, Jeanne Meserve says people will demand answers, presumably from the government — but perhaps viewers would like some answers from CNN instead.
Ed adds, “Mark your calendars for this one, because I agree completely with Robert Gibbs on this”:
The “panic” over the exercise originated entirely at CNN, due to their rush to go live with a story before properly verifying it. They have a reporter at the White House and people at the Pentagon. Why not ask first whether the Coast Guard had an exercise? Are they that desperate for a scoop?
The military of the US is on constant duty, and the best way to ensure that they operate at their best capacity is constant training. Today, while significant for our nation, is just another day to prepare for our defense to the Coast Guard and the other branches of the service. No one would have “panicked” over this exercise or even known of its existence had CNN not freaked out over a radio communication.
This is the day we’re supposed to honor our fighting men and women for their dedication and service in defending the nation, not quibble about normal exercises.
On the other hand, it’s also a reminder that CNN’s lax journalistic standards exist far beyond its political “reporting.”
Related: This just in from Jim Treacher: “BREAKING: Shots Fired in CNN Cafeteria | UPDATE: CNN Cafeteria Bans Microwave Popcorn.”Heh.™