While chief medical examiner Francisco Diaz said that the events of Jan. 6 “played a role in his condition” that resulted in Sicknick’s death, the findings are still a bold departure from claims reported by The New York Times back in January that the officer had been “struck with a fire extinguisher” by the pro-Trump rioters.
However, like much of the media, CNN erroneously reported the falsehood.
“Officer Brian Sicknick died after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher during the fight,” anchor Anderson Cooper told viewers repeatedly at the time.
Cooper, along with his primetime colleagues Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, made no mention of the breaking news on Monday night that emerged hours earlier.
On Tuesday, several of CNN’s daytime programs did address the medical examiner’s latest findings, but the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin earned virtually wall-to-wall coverage.
Since then, the network has made no mention of the late police officer, according to Grabien transcripts.
The blackout of coverage extended to CNN’s highly-praised anchors Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer.
Tapper, who in recent years has developed a reputation of shaming Republican politicians despite being a so-called objective news anchor, repeatedly used Sicknick’s death as leverage against his GOP political foes, most recently last month as he tore into former President Trump for downplaying the violence on Jan. 6.
“It’s the former president’s latest attempt at whitewashing,” Tapper said, responding to remarks Trump made during an interview on Fox News. “Pretending he does not have blood on his hands for one of the darkest days in American history in which five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, died.”
Despite the dozens of references to the alleged “fire extinguisher” assault, CNN defended its erroneous reporting after the revelation of Sicknick’s strokes emerged.
“This doesn’t change what happened on January 6th. This doesn’t change the fact of the insurrection,” anchor John Berman said on Tuesday morning. “It does adjust what we knew or believed to have happened to Officer Sicknick. It really is different from what we suspected at the beginning and over the course of time here.”
CNN’s leftwing media guru Brian Stelter told the “New Day” co-host that the “media lesson” from the Sicknick development is that “stories evolve” and urged other journalists to “be skeptical of initial accounts.”