Drain the Swamp

Dershowitz Goes on Fox News to Destroy CNN: ‘Have to Do Something to Preserve Their Credibility’

Harvard law professor also gave cable news network much-needed advice on journalistic practice of using unnamed sources

Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz isn’t letting CNN off the hook for its far less than perfect reporting, shall we say.

Attorney Lanny Davis had told the cable news network that his client, Michael Cohen, could testify that President Donald Trump knew about a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer during his presidential campaign.

After Davis admitted that he could not back up that report — CNN refused to walk the whole thing back.

It still has not issued a retraction or revised the story, as many have urged it to do.

Wednesday night on Tucker Carlson’s prime-time Fox News show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Dershowitz commended Davis for coming forward to dispel the unfounded rumor about Cohen’s ability to testify that the president knew about the meeting in Trump Tower.

But then he gave some strong advice to CNN — and this advice from the attorney and frequent media pundit is still reverberating.

“Number one — that they tell us the nature of the sources without telling us the names. Are they eyewitnesses? Is it a hearsay source?” the lawyer said about the network’s common practice of using unnamed sources to spread damaging news about the president.

“Or second  — that they give their source to their expert on journalism and let their expert decide whether or not they should stick with the story, or some outside experts, someone from the Columbia School of Journalism, who could learn the name of the sources and then go talk to the sources, still keep their names confidential and then come forward and say, ‘You know, there is a basis. We’re standing behind CNN,’” Dershowitz said.

“They have to do something to preserve their credibility,” he said passionately about the network and the way it’s handled its reporting, especially recently.

Related: Giant Billboard Calling the President ‘Our Leader the Idiot’ Provokes Outrage

It used to be common practice that news outlets were very cautious about leveraging serious accusations against private citizens and public figures, especially a sitting president.

But the message CNN is sending to the world — and to all of its media peers, to be sure — is that by refusing to correct its report so that public perception of the story is accurate, “anything goes.”

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Kyle Becker is a content writer and producer with LifeZette.