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CNN Faced $100M Lawsuit Over Botched Russia Story

Image: CNN Faced $100M Lawsuit Over Botched Russia Story
(AP)

Wednesday, 28 Jun 2017 10:28 AM

CNN sent three staffers packing after its false story about a Trump transition team member because the network feared a libel lawsuit that could hurt parent company Time Warner's proposed purchase by AT&T, the New York Post reports.

Citing sources, the Post's Emily Smith says CNN "immediately caved" after Anthony Scaramucci threatened a $100 million suit after the network falsely linked him to an investment fund owned by the Russian government. CNN later retracted the story.

Journalists Tom Frank, Eric Lichtblau and Lex Haris were then 'urged to resign,'" Smith reports. "They called them in and said they’d pay out their contracts, but they should leave immediately," one source told her.

Smith says CNN president Jeff Zucker made the move because he was "afraid of facing a high profile lawsuit from Scaramucci, while the U.S. Justice Department weighs the proposed $85.4 billion media merger."

A CNN insider told the Post staffers are furious at "having lost the moral high ground because of this story."

At a staff meeting, "Zucker stressed that this issue was a 'lapse in editorial standards' and said it was a lesson to all reporters and editors to continue to strive for strong, accurate reporting," a source told the newspaper.

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CNN sent three staffers packing after its false story about a Trump transition team member because the network feared a libel lawsuit that could hurt parent company Time Warner's proposed purchase by AT&T, the New York Post reports.
CNN, Story
203
2017-28-28
Wednesday, 28 Jun 2017 10:28 AM
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