CNN mocked over reporting study conservatives more likely than liberals to believe misleading news reports

Media top headlines June 4

Mike Pompeo alleging that the NIH tried to suppress a State Department COVID-19 probe, Fauci telling Americans to not be so ‘accusatory with China, and a Yahoo News reporter asking Jen Psaki about a possible White House cat round out today’s top media headlines.

CNN was mocked this week for its a piece citing a study that disparaged conservatives’ news judgment.

In the piece, the liberal network cited a “small but intensive” study compiled by communications specialists at Ohio State University, who claimed that “more engaging but false stories tended to support beliefs held by conservatives, while viral news stories that were also true tended to support beliefs held by liberals.”

The network promoted the piece in a tweet Thursday, writing, “The research is the latest in a series of studies that show people on the political right tend to not only be targeted by fake news, but to believe it’s correct.”

Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway slammed CNN for its report, saying it had repeatedly misled its viewers and readers on key issues.

“They lied about Russian collusion. They lied about the 2016 election. They lied about Brett Kavanaugh. And they lied about the origins of COVID-19. And their liberal viewers believed them,” she said. “These corrupt partisans in the media are in no place to lecture anyone about disinformation, of which they are the most responsible for its harmful spread.”

This led to the liberal outlet being lambasted on social media with examples of “fake news” it had been criticized for pushing in the past, including outright dismissing the lab-leak theory on coronavirus’ origins, reporting on the racial controversy in the infamous Covington Catholic incident, and misinformation revolving around the Russian dossier following the 2016 election. 

One conservative writer shared a photo of CNN’s Brian Stelter interviewing disgraced Democratic attorney Michael Avenatti, who became a ubiquitous presence on CNN and MSNBC in 2018 for his anti-Trump activism.

The piece noted that the study ran from January to June in 2019, but did not cover the period under the coronavirus pandemic. It also noted the research team was now separately looking into misinformation surrounding the pandemic.

The network also claimed that the researchers “carefully fact-checked” every article that was considered in the study based off social media engagement, but it didn’t offer an explanation as to what the fact-checking process entailed. 

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