CNN Apologizes for Calling Big Bear Mayor a Hoax

At one point during Tuesday’s frenzied coverage of the Christopher Dorner standoff, the following was added to CNN’s live blog:

[Updated at 5:34 p.m. ET] In posts at 5:06 p.m. ET and 5:09 p.m. ET, we reported apparent information from Big Bear Lake mayor Jay Obernolte. We have learned that the man we spoke to was not the mayor, so we’ve removed the information. We regret the error.

But today, around noon eastern time, those 5:06 and 5:09 p.m. snippets were reinstated together with a brief explanation and apology. Against the backdrop of some definite miscues like the LA Times’ premature report of a body being removed from the cabin, in this case CNN was right all along. Here’s what senior director of PR Matt Dornic told

“We did not air a hoax interview. Our source and guest was indeed Jay Obernolte. The original correction was unnecessarily issued due to internal miscommunication.”

Maybe Obernolte can help CNN implement better communication tools. After all, he has an M.S. in Artificial Intelligence from UCLA.

Previously on FishbowlLA:
Prank Caller Pulls a Fast One on CBS/KCAL9