Fox News host’s inaccurate reporting leads to false right-wing speculation Breyer was forced out
Barely minutes before 12:00 noon on Wednesday NBC News’ Pete Williams broke the news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was going to announce he is retiring, at the end of the term.
Hours later Fox News host Shannon Bream breathlessly tweeted, “Multiple sources tell me Justice Breyer was not planning to announce his retirement today. They describe him as ‘upset’ with how this has played out. We still await any official notice from his office and/or the #SCOTUS public information office.”
That was 2:41 PM.
Her tweet was inaccurate – based on her own reporting, about a half-hour later.
At 3:14 PM Bream “clarified” her reporting, making clear that Justice Breyer “firmly decided” to retire on his own, and was merely “surprised” that a top-notch veteran Supreme Court reporter broke the news:
A bit more clarity. I'm told Justice Breyer had firmly decided on his own to retire and that an announcement was due very soon. And while it appears someone jumped the gun on that, better to characterize him as surprised by events today than "upset".— Shannon Bream (@Shannon Bream) 1643228083
Her first tweet has received thousands of retweets and likes and led to false speculation among many right-wingers (adding to the already false claims from the far right) that President Joe Biden forced Justice Breyer out the door – something impossible (unless you do over a billion dollars in business with a bank where the son of a Supreme Court Justice works.)
Too late, the damage is done. Ordinarily many reporters will delete tweets that are inaccurate or wrong, then post the reason why, and a correction. Bream did not.
Over at the right-wing National Review, senior writer Charles C. W. Cooke posted an article titled: “Did the Democratic Party Preempt Justice Breyer’s Announcement to Force His Hand?”
Its only content: Bream’s inaccurate tweet and the words, “It certainly seems possible.”
Here are more results of Bream’s inaccurate reporting:
Chief political correspondent, Washington Examiner and Fox News contributor Byron York:
A little nudge...https://twitter.com/ShannonBream/status/1486424088654630912\u00a0\u2026— Byron York (@Byron York) 1643227555
Another Washington Times columnist and a SiriusXMPatriot personality:
I called it! Liberals pushed it to media to try to play cover for Biden's absolute failures.https://twitter.com/ShannonBream/status/1486424088654630912\u00a0\u2026— Tim Young (@Tim Young) 1643230707
Former senior advisor to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC):
Psaki putting this out earlier is interesting - Breyer was NOT given the opportunity to decide how he was going to announce it because either her colleagues in the White House or her allies from the liberal dark money universe leaked it to force his hand.https://twitter.com/PressSec/status/1486384652256522242?s=20\u00a0\u2026— Matt Whitlock (@Matt Whitlock) 1643227437
Blogger at right wing website Hot Air:
guess: he gave the WH a heads up privately as a courtesy and they couldn\u2019t resist leaking it to give their deeply demoralized base something to get excited abouthttps://twitter.com/ShannonBream/status/1486424088654630912\u00a0\u2026— Allahpundit (@Allahpundit) 1643228500
Radio talk show host:
The Biden Admin needed a narrative change and BAD.https://twitter.com/ShannonBream/status/1486424088654630912\u00a0\u2026— Annie Frey (@Annie Frey) 1643226243