The shelf life of bad reporting

cnnSo earlier today we looked at how the drama of a CNN headline, subhead and "story highlights" about Gov. Sarah Palin's religious views were not matched by any facts in the subsequent story. But apparently that is not keeping CNN from just plowing on ahead. A subsequent story, a write-up of a television interview with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, repeats some of the false "story highlights" from the previous story. And here's reporter John Roberts' lead-off question:

Roberts: For a couple of decades, she was a member of the Pentecostal Assembly of God church. Six years ago, she changed to the Wasilla Bible Church. I read an article in which one of her former pastors suggested [the McCain campaign] may be playing down her faith because there may be some misunderstanding about her Pentecostalism. What do you think about all of this?

The "story" Roberts read was this one -- the really awful CNN report that claimed, sans evidence, the GOP was obscuring Palin's faith. How funny is it, though, for CNN to produce the awful story and then reference it in order to spread the meme.

Roberts: You say people are attacking her because of her faith. Are they attacking her or asking legitimate questions, such as when she said at the Assembly of God church back in June. ...

[Palin] talked about U.S. troops in Iraq, and she put it this way: "Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that's from God." Even some Pentecostals say that could mean that the U.S. is in a holy war with the Muslim world.

What creative editing! That completely obscures and transforms what she actually said. Gov. Palin said that people should pray that our national leaders are sending troops on a task from God. And what drama with the use of the phrase "holy war."

Isn't there enough actual Palin religious news to chew on that we don't have to make stuff up?

Incidentally, of the major news broadcasters, CNN is normally not one we receive a ton of complaints about. But in the comment threads and in story submissions, readers seem to think CNN has had a rough week or so. Hopefully they'll get back on track in short order. And hey, Palin's current congregation is praying for them. So that should help.

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