CNN’s Oliver Darcy: Bad Faith Actors ‘Hijacked The Dialogue’ Over Stone Arrest With CNN/Mueller Conspiracy
CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy took aim at conservative media figures Sunday morning for spreading a baseless conspiracy theory that Special Counsel Robert Mueller informed CNN ahead of time that FBI agents would be arresting longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone so the network could be on hand to capture live footage of the raid.
In case you missed it, shortly after news broke that Stone had been arrested and charged with seven counts of making false statements and witness tampering related to attempts to get information from WikiLeaks during the 2016 election, conservatives began running with the claim that Mueller tipped off CNN. It appears the theory was fueled by a speculative tweet by former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, who said the “FBI obviously tipped off CNN” and wondered aloud why Mueller’s office would do that.
The tweet spread in the right-wing media ecosphere like wildfire, quickly making its way to the top of the Drudge Report and, eventually and inevitably, the president’s Twitter account. Even after Van Susteren backed away from her claim and issued a correction, and CNN provided a detailed explanation regarding how their reporters were able to connect the dots that Stone may be arrested Friday morning, Fox News hosts and conservative pundits were still pushing the theory.
During a Reliable Sources panel discussion on Stone, Darcy was asked by host Brian Stelter if he had seen examples of “an information war underway,” with the CNN host noting that Stone had literally been all over InfoWars these past few years.
“Absolutely,” Darcy replied. “And Roger Stone was at the center of the most recent war on Friday when you had him arrested by the FBI, indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller, that was the story. But on the right, on the fringes of the right, a conspiracy theory spread.”
Stelter and Darcy then highlighted the CNN/Mueller conspiracy, with Stelter sighing “give me a break” over the claims from the right. They also pointed out that the president quickly tweeted it out.
“They hijacked the dialogue for a little bit,” Darcy asserted. “When the real story was Roger Stone is being arrested, a lot of people — including some mainstream commentators and journalists — started asking questions about this conspiracy theory. As journalists, we have to be very careful not to allow bad faith actors to hijack the conversation and to move the story away from what it really should be. And usually, it’s not positive for the president.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.