Newsweek Reporter Fired After Peddling Fake News That Trump Golfed On Thanksgiving
Newsweek has fired a reporter who penned a snarky, misleading article suggesting that President Trump spent Thanksgiving ‘tweeting and golfing,’ when he actually flew to Afghanistan for a surprise visit with US troops.
The fired journo, Jessica Kwong, wrote in an article entitled “How is Trump Spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, Golfing and More,” that the president “has been spending his Thanksgiving holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.”
The golfing claim comes later in the article, as Kwong notes that Trump played golf on Thanksgiving Eve “from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.” The headline, of course, suggests Trump golfed on Thanksgiving.
After Trump popped up in Afghanistan, Kwong and Newsweek took heat over Twitter for refusing to edit the article or delete the viral tweet promoting the lie.
This caught the attention of the Trump family, who promptly called out the beleaguered news outlet:
I thought Newsweek was out of business? https://t.co/3ro4eSJloo
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2019
Eventually, Kwong caved by deleting her tweet, and Newsweek edited the article – at first with no mention of the edit, and then an editors note only after virtually the entire piece had been rewritten.
“This story has been substantially updated and edited at 6:17 pm EST to reflect the president’s surprise trip to Afghanistan. Additional reporting by James Crowley,” reads the update.
“Newsweek investigated the failures that led to the publication of the inaccurate report that President Trump spent Thanksgiving tweeting and golfing rather than visiting troops in Afghanistan,” a Newsweek spokesperson told The New York Post in an email. “The story has been corrected and the journalist responsible has been terminated. We will continue to review our processes and, if required, take further action.”
After Trump tweeted “I thought Newsweek was out of business?,” The Wrap reminds us that “The former owners of the publication and a faith-based online media company were accused of attempting to defraud lenders in an indictment filed in October 2018,” adding “High-ranking editorial staffers have been leaving the publication and three senior editorial staffers were fired in retaliation for a story about a legal investigation into the company in February 2018.”
Not quite out of business, but certainly not in a position to afford further reputational risk from obvious fake news.