Vice Media, the parent organization of Motherboard, has retracted two stories concerning Disney’s animatronic president’s exhibit and Donald Trump. The reason? They were bullsh**.
“After a thorough investigation into the sourcing of two stories, ‘Here’s the Secret Backstage Trump Drama at Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents’ and ‘Behind the Scenes of Disney’s Donald Trump “Hall of Presidents” Installation,’ and the identification of several factual errors, we have decided to retract both pieces,” Motherboard said in an editorial note posted Wednesday in place of the two articles.
The note added, “We are conducting a full editorial review to pinpoint how this source was vetted, and how these stories were approved and published in violation of our usual editorial workflow. We fell short of our standards, and regret the error.”
The only conceivable “factual error” has to be the assertion that the White House was refusing to collaborate with Disney’s people on the exhibit. As a monument to the idea that a lie travels halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on, the Motherboard story was refuted by Disney two days ago:
In a statement provided to the Washington Examiner, Jacquee Wahler, vice president of communications for Walt Disney World, disputed the assertions in the article.
“The Vice report is inaccurate. As we have stated, President Trump will have a speaking role in the Hall of Presidents like every president since 1993,” she said. “We have been working closely with the White House and the president’s recording session has been scheduled. We have repeatedly stated that the attraction will re-open in late 2017.”
But the story was still circulating yesterday without any mention of Disney’s statement.
This is just another example, like the CNN/Scaramucci story, of how the media will publish literally anything, anything, if they perceive that it will hurt Trump or his administration. And contrary to what you may think, it is not a bad business model. Since January 20, we’ve seen there is a non-trivial number of people who will believe and repeat these stories long after they been rebutted and debunked.