We have seen a lot of this recently: A newsroom runs a shocking headline, it gets a ton of play, the story fizzles out later when additional details become available and the newsroom eventually publishes an update that basically goes unnoticed.
It has long been a rule that the original claim always gets more attention than the correction, but it seems as if this principle has been getting a real workout since Donald Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20.
Take, for example, reports this week alleging Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner had registered to vote in New York as a female.
Like many newsrooms, CNN jumped to cover the issue. The cable news network promoted its report on Twitter, where the story has been shared more 1,000 times:
Then the boring truth came out: Kushner had not intentionally registered as a female. It was a clerical error. Yawn.
CNN dutifully followed up with a separate report titled, "Elections board: Our error Kushner listed as female." CNN also promoted the follow-up report on Twitter, where the story has been shared only 106 times:
It's a small example, and CNN didn't do anything wrong. The reason we're highlighting this specific example is because it's brief and easy to understand. We're also highlighting it because it perfectly illustrates the life cycle of a Trump news dud: It starts with a shocking and widely shared claim, which then dissipates with boring facts that basically no one notices.
Less of this, please.