A Newsweek editor admitted Wednesday that he and other staffers didn’t actually read their recalled commemorative “Madam President” election issue before it was published.
Newsweek political editor Matthew Cooper said Wednesday on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that the magazine’s issue, which incorrectly anticipated a Hillary Clinton win, was not produced by Newsweek but by a third party.
“Well, no one on our staff wrote that,” Cooper said. “Again, we subcontract out to a company.”
Cooper later stated that “we did not review it before it went out.”
Carlson, who was aghast, asked at one point what would have happened if the sub-contractor, a hack outfit called Topix Media Lab, had printed “Mein Kampf” in the special edition under Newsweek’s banner. “That would have been even worse,” answered Cooper.
I suppose—in content perhaps, but not from a journalism ethics perspective. Newsweek not only published an edition announcing that Hillary Clinton had been elected President, it misled readers by allowing it to be published under its banner, when nobody connected to the magazine had even read it. This was both irresponsible and dishonest, it is also incompetent, lazy and jaw-droppingly stupid. In addition to describing an event that didn’t happen, it also falsely characterized how it happened, with airbrushed history like,
“as the tone of the election grew darker and more bizarre by the day, President-Elect Hillary Clinton ‘went high’ when her opponent and supporters went even lower… even as a handful of Trump’s deplorable supporters, seeing the wide margin she held among female voters, called for repealing the 19th Amendment.”
Why does the public accept fake news from Russia and Macedonia? One reason is that they can’t be certain when the news they get from established sources like Newsweek has been checked, vetted, and in this case, read.
Then there is this question. A mainstream news media source put out an entire issue under i’s banner without checking it in any way. This is a major journalism scandal that calls into question the integrity, honesty and trustworthiness of the entire industry. Yet not a single mainstream media source—not the New York Times, not the Washington Post, not the AP, CNN or the network news—have covered the story.
Pretending something significant didn’t happen when it did is also fake news, you know.