Every once in a while, CNN has to admit they got it wrong. But they'd rather defend their now legendary sloppy reporting.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs today criticized CNN – not the Coast Guard – over the panic caused by the agency’s training exercise on the Sept. 11 anniversary, saying that the alarm could have been avoided if the network had checked its facts.
Gibbs said he wouldn’t second-guess Coast Guard leadership for holding a Potomac River exercise on the morning of the Sept. 11 commemoration. But he took a shot at CNN, which initially didn’t know the maneuvers in the Potomac were part of an exercise and erroneously reported that gunshots were fired – something the homeland security department said didn’t occur.
The incident also set off a terse exchange between Gibbs and CNN reporter Elaine Quijano over the incident as Gibbs briefed reporters. Quijano asked whether the public should have been informed about a training exercise on the Sept. 11 anniversary.
"If we set aside the media coverage, would you be asking this question?" Gibbs said.
"If anybody was unnecessarily alarmed based on erroneous reporting that denoted that shots had been fired, I think everybody is apologetic about that," Gibbs said.
Oh...and those "gunshots?"
“That ‘bang bang’ was verbalized on the radio, but I want to emphasize no shots were fired,” said Vice Adm. John Currier, the Coast Guard chief of staff. He said that was a normal way to simulate gunfire during an exercise.
A guy saying "bang bang" into a radio. Obviously very confusing for CNN.