Definitely Not An Apple: CNN Faces Heat After Misleading Headline

Only three things in this life are certain: death, taxes, and CNN publishing false or otherwise misleading headlines.

For an organization who prides themselves in being a trusted news network, they are struggling to keep a reliable reputation. Even Politifact ranks 47 percent of what comes from CNN as only “Half True” or worse.

This time, CNN reported that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh believes U.S. presidents can ignore laws at their leisure.

“Trump Supreme Court pick: Presidents can ignore laws they think are unconstitutional,” the CNN headline read.

“Another day, another misleading headline,” Washington Examiner said in an op-ed concerning the CNN report.

From CNN’s report:

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2013 asserted that it’s a “traditional exercise” of presidential power to ignore laws the White House views as unconstitutional, as he defended the controversial practice of signing statements prevalent in George W. Bush’s White House.

The comments could put a renewed focus on Kavanaugh’s time serving as White House staff secretary, who had a role in coordinating Bush’s statements accompanying legislation he signed into law. Critics contend that the Bush White House abused the use of signing statements to ignore laws passed by Congress, though Bush and his allies said such statements were no different than the practices of other administrations.

Deeper into the article is when the author shares the truth:

In a legal opinion that same year, Kavanaugh took a similar position, saying that the president can’t ignore the law “simply because of policy objections” — and that the White House must abide by the law “unless the President has a constitutional objection” to the issue at hand.

“If the President has a constitutional objection to a statutory mandate or prohibition, the President may decline to follow the law unless and until a final Court order dictates otherwise,” Kavanaugh wrote in the August 13, 2013, opinion. He made a similar argument in a 2011 dissenting opinion.

Washington Examiner complimented the content and research of the article, although it specified, “The headline leaves much to be desired in terms of context and background.” It goes on to describe the headline as “confusing at best, misleading at worst.”

Attorney Gabriel Malor, a Washington Examiner contributor, tweeted that the CNN headline “is unnecessarily misleading because it omits a critical caveat. Kavanaugh said a president can decline to enforce a law believed to be unconstitutional ‘unless and until a final Court order dictates otherwise.’ He also noted that Congress also plays a role.”


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