It's not every day that CNN, the left-wing news network that employs admitted crier Brian Stelter, demonstrates strength and masculinity in the face of adversity. But when it does, we should at least acknowledge, if not applaud, the effort.
Now is a time for applause. CNN refused to bow to the pedantic scolds demanding a correction after network analyst Asha Rangappa repeated a false claim about Rudy Giuliani. CNN could have easily followed suit when NBC News, the Washington Post, and the New York Times issued corrections after falsely reporting the FBI had briefed Giuliani about Russian efforts to influence the 2020 election. Instead, the network soldiered on as if nothing had happened.
CNN spokeswoman Lauren Pratapas told the Washington Post the network did not intend to issue a correction regarding Rangappa's false claim. In a display of epic bravado, Pratapas pointed to a CNN.com report about how the Post and other outlets had gotten their facts wrong. The report brazenly notes that CNN "had not confirmed" the Giuliani story, which had been based entirely on anonymous sources. CNN media critic Oliver Darcy authored a separate article on the corrections, which he described as "black eyes to the newsrooms" at fault. He did not mention Rangappa or CNN.
Former president Donald Trump, whose frequent guest appearances during the 2016 campaign helped CNN rake in record profits, would certainly approve of the network's "admit nothing, deny everything" approach to factual accuracy. Trump would also admire CNN's loyalty to Rangappa, who has been a frequent source of controversy.
In August 2020, for example, Rangappa falsely accused former governor Nikki Haley (R., S.C.) of changing her name to appear more white. (Haley is Indian American, as is Rangappa.) When Alex Nester, a 22-year-old then–intern for the Washington Free Beacon reached out for comment from Rangappa's employer, Yale University, the CNN analyst posted a screenshot of the request on Twitter and urged her 600,000-plus followers to "respond to Alex." Nester's personal phone number was clearly visible in the tweeted photo. Dozens of harassing messages followed.
Rangappa was forced to remove the tweet for violating Twitter's terms of service. Posting someone's personal information on the site, aka "doxxing," is typically frowned upon and could lead to violence. Rangappa was unapologetic after Twitter "made me delete" the harassing tweet and referred to Nester as "Karen," a derogatory and racially charged slur typically aimed at white women.
Three cheers for CNN!