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Vice Media Retracts Two Trump-Disney Hall Of Presidents Stories After Finding “Factual Errors”

Deadline logo Deadline 6/28/2017 Patrick Hipes

Vice Media’s tech-focused site Motherboard has retracted two of its stories that had raised questions surrounding President Donald Trump’s animatronic addition to Walt Disney World’s famed Hall of Presidents exhibit in Orlando.

The site today took down the two reports from earlier this week — “Here’s The Secret Backstage Trump Drama At Walt Disney World’s Hall Of Presidents” and “Behind The Scenes Of Disney’s Donald Trump ‘Hall Of Presidents’ Installation” — which suggested internal Disney and White House friction surrounding Trump’s addition to the exhibit has led to a delay in reopening it. It has been closed since January and is scheduled to reopen later this year.

The two stories prompted Disney to release a statement Tuesday refuting the idea there were holdups and that it also was revamping the show, and upgrading the sound, lighting and projection systems. The exhibit originally opened in 1971.

“Despite some media reports to the contrary, President Trump will have a speaking role in the Hall of Presidents, like every president since 1993,” Disney said. “We have been working closely with the current White House — just as we have with previous administrations — and the president’s recording session has been scheduled.”

Vice took down the stories and posted this statement:

After a thorough investigation into the sourcing of two stories, “Here’s the Secret Backstage Trump Drama at Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents” and “Behind the Scenes of Disney’s Donald Trump ‘Hall of Presidents’ Installation”, and the identification of several factual errors, we have decided to retract both pieces. We are conducting a full editorial review to pinpoint how this source was vetted, and how these stories were approved and published in violation of our usual editorial workflow. We fell short of our standards, and regret the error.

The retractions come the same week three CNN journalists resigned after a report claiming that Congress was investigating a Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials. It cited a single anonymous source.

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