Mainstream outlets face deluge of criticism for retracted Giuliani story, use of anonymous sources

Growing calls for outlets to 'burn' their anonymous sources

The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NBC News faced a deluge of criticism Monday following the weekend corrections they each issued concerning their false reporting that Rudy Giuliani was warned by the FBI he was a target of a Russian disinformation campaign.

The stories about the alleged warning were published following the FBI raid on the former New York City mayor's Manhattan apartment on April 29, which came as part of the ongoing investigation into whether or not he violated the law while lobbying on behalf of Ukrainian officials in 2019. 

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Each of the outlets referenced anonymous sources when revealing the FBI warnings that never took place, which prompted Giuliani to demand they reveal who their sources were following the retractions. 

The three outlets were quickly called out on social media for the inaccurate reporting, with some drawing into question the standards they use to verify information from anonymous sources, and others calling for the outlets to "burn" the sources.

While discussing the retractions Monday, Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz called the false reporting "a major blunder," and explained that news organizations are entitled to reveal the identities of anonymous sources if they determine the sources lied when sharing information. 

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Fox News contributor and The Hill's Joe Concha also blasted the false reporting and use of anonymous sources, calling on the outlets to reveal the source. He then cited a 2018 Axios poll that said 75% of Americans believe "traditional major news sources" report things they know to be "fake, false, or purposefully misleading."

Co-host of "Outnumbered" Kayleigh McEnany echoed the poll data Concha cited, calling it an "extraordinary number." She also said that "there's an epidemic in American journalism, and it's anonymous sourcing."

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None of the outlets who issued corrections have yet to reveal the source who provided the false data.