CNN and ABC challenged to apologize to Mark Levin over Trump wiretapping

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After CNN finally admitted on Monday night that “US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election…The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump,” many conservatives are now feeling a major apology is in order from liberal media that mocked claims about surveillance earlier.

When conservatives asked serious questions about allegations of surveillance of the Trump campaign by the Obama administration, major media outlets called them “conspiracy theorists.”

Conservative radio host Mark Levin was specifically denounced when he voiced his concerns over the surveillance claims.

Over a three-day period in March, ABC’s Brian Ross repeatedly called Levin a “conspiracy-loving talk show host.”

MRC posted excerpts Tuesday of the following ABC news broadcast:

BRIAN ROSS: Because the President cited no proof, it is not clear tonight whether he based his allegations on a top-secret White House briefing or whether it came from reading an article on the conservative Breitbart website, posted Friday, that detailed speculation from a conspiracy-loving talk show host, Mark Levin. 

MARK LEVIN: How many of Trump’s people were eavesdropped on? How many had their conversations intercepted, recorded, transcribed? Because this, ladies and gentlemen, is the big scandal.”

Liberal HBO comedian John Oliver then commented on the broadcast on his show, with the following slam: “I think we can officially declare that Trump has a worse media diet than the Son of Sam killer, and he got all his news from a talking dog who told him to murder.”

CNN’s own Brian Stelter published an article on March 6, titled, “Birth of a conspiracy theory: How Trump’s wiretap claim got started,” which began with:

An incendiary idea first put forward by right-wing radio host Mark Levin is now burning across Washington, fanned by President Trump’s tweets and a huge number of supportive commentators and websites — even though the facts don’t back up the conclusion.

Breitbart News has given the conspiracy theory a name: “DeepStateGate.” Others are going with “ObamaGate.” And Fox News host Sean Hannity is asking: “What did OBAMA know and when did he know it???”

Levin’s original idea, advanced on Thursday, was that former President Barack Obama and his allies have mounted a “silent coup” against Trump using “police state” tactics. Levin cherry-picked news stories that supported his thesis and omitted information that cut against it.

Levin pounded back with a response the same day, publishing an email he sent directly to Brian Stelter, and stated, “Your ad hominem attacks about ‘right wing’ radio host and conspiracy theory stuff … incredible.”

Levin continued: “I simply put together the stories that YOUR profession reported, on the public record. Do you deny there were two FISA applications? Do you deny the first was turned down? Do you deny the second was approved? It’s called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. It is about surveillance. The fact that we cannot discern all the details because of the secrecy, except for what the media have revealed and selective leaks by the government, should cause you to want to know more, not to trash those who point it out.”

Now, although CNN hasn’t taken the conservatives’ side on the wiretapping probe, it is admitting it happened, but said, “It’s unclear whether Trump himself was picked up on the surveillance.”

CNN’s Pamela Brown did acknowledge to colleague and host Don Lemon on Monday that it is possible Trump was wiretapped, as well. Thus, it would seem the network should be apologizing to Mark Levin for calling him a conspiracy theorist.

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