Newsweek reporter Jessica Kwong has been fired over an “inaccurate” article she wrote that claimed President Trump would be spending the holiday “Tweeting, golfing and more.” The president’s plan to spend the holiday at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida with his family had become mainstream news before the holiday.
The original headline of Kwong’s article read “How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing and more”, which Newsweek published the morning of Thanksgiving. However, on Thanksgiving Day, the president made a surprise trip to Afghanistan to spend the holiday with the troops, a trip that was not immediately made public for security reasons, according to the New York Post.
After Kwong’s article was published and the president’s Afghanistan trip was announced, Kwong’s editor assigned the travel story to another reporter but failed to immediately update Kwong’s initial story, the Washington Examiner reported.
It was only hours later that Kwong’s initial story was updated with a new headline that read “How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing — and surprising U.S. troops in Afghanistan” along with a note at the bottom of the article that said, “This story has been substantially updated and edited at 6:17 p.m. EST to reflect the president’s surprise trip to Afghanistan. Additional reporting by James Crowley.”
By the time the changes were made, however, the obsolete headline that didn’t include the Afghanistan trip was blasted online by Trump and Trump Jr., gaining over 40,000 retweets.
I thought Newsweek was out of business? https://t.co/3ro4eSJloo
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2019
For her part, Kwong retweeted the updated article while noting that her initial article was published before the president’s holiday plans were made public and the omission of the news was a “honest mistake.”
Trump headed to Afghanistan to surprise U.S. troops on Thanksgiving https://t.co/f7Xeqz1ZGQ Deleting this tweet because it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake. Story has already been updated, as shown in the screenshot. pic.twitter.com/g9CfPaV2kQ
— Jessica Kwong (@JessicaGKwong) November 29, 2019
Kwong also tweeted out Newsweek’s newer article angled to fully cover the president’s trip to Afghanistan.
BREAKING: President Trump pays surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan https://t.co/UiweKJYqKZ
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) November 28, 2019
Acknowledging the matter, a Newsweek representative released a statement to the Washington Examiner that read:
“Newsweek investigated the failures that led to the publication of the inaccurate report that President Trump spent Thanksgiving tweeting and golfing rather than visiting troops in Afghanistan. The story has been corrected, and the journalist responsible has been terminated. We will continue to review our processes and, if required, take further action.”
The name of the editor who failed to update Kwong’s story has not been revealed and the publication refused to answer questions [on or about] whether the editor will face any consequences for allowing the story to be published.