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Fake news alert: CNN says Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido 'won election in January'

Fake news alert: CNN says Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido 'won election in January'
CNN took the concept of “fake news” to a whole new level with a recent report on Venezuela, in which it claimed that citizens “chose” coup leader Juan Guaido over current president Nicolas Maduro in January “elections.”

In a report on Sunday’s deadly Venezuelan military helicopter crash, CNN wrote that “pressure is mounting” on Maduro to step down “following elections in January in which voters chose opposition leader Juan Guaido over him for president.”

Slight problem there, CNN.

Venezuela did not hold elections in January — and Guaido definitely did not win them. He did, however, try to seize power from Maduro by force in January with US backing — and then again in April. Both coup attempts failed and Maduro remains president with the support of millions of Venezuelans who still back him. But US officials have declared the Washington-friendly Guaido the country’s “legitimate” leader, so evidently this has been a confusing time for CNN’s intrepid reporters.

The report was finally corrected on Monday after being published on Sunday afternoon and remaining unfixed overnight. It now reflects the fact that Guaido was not elected, but “declared himself interim president” in January.

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A correction added to the bottom of the piece explains that the earlier version had “incorrectly described” the situation. Elections? Military coups? Really, who can keep up these days!?

Amazingly, the botched report which initially referenced these mysterious imaginary elections, was the product of work by no less than six journalists — two whose names appear on the main byline and four more listed as contributors at the bottom. Normal practice would see the piece run past a couple of editors too, before being published. That’s potentially eight pairs of eyes — and none of them managed to catch the glaring error.

A number of journalists and Twitter users called CNN out for the “blatant” lie and “shameful” and “terrible” reporting.

It wasn't the first Venezuela-related embarrassment for CNN. Reporter Jake Tapper was called out on social media last week after he tweeted a link with a picture of opposition army defectors wielding guns to claim Maduro's government "mows down citizens in streets."

CNN likes to be known for its so-called adversarial journalism when it comes to the Trump administration, but so far, it seems fully on board with its regime change policies in Venezuela — although, even the White House hasn’t gone so far as to pretend fake elections took place in January.

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