CNN’s FAKE NEWS About Newport, RI

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Even on a puff piece about Newport’s mansions, attractions, hotels and restaurants, CNN has a few “alternative facts”.

Late last month, published “The best things to do and see in Newport” which is a common type of article to see published this time of year. CNN (or whichever big publisher) tasks someone to write up an article about our city and that person applies some research skills and talent with the English word to the topic at hand.

Invariably, however, it becomes glaringly obvious that whichever writer hasn’t stepped foot in Newport recently, if ever. In this case, we have Lilit Marcus, CNN Travel Editor, who gets most of the story right before veering off into a few alternative facts.

For example:

On Sayers Wharf, Moorings is a shellfish-centric classic where you’re as likely to spot locals as visiting celebrities.

The only people in Newport who think there’s a restaurant called “Moorings” are 60 year-old men driving out-of-state rental cars and asking for directions. The Mooring, on the other hand, fits the rest of the description perfectly. Now, it’s sort of nitpicky, we know…until you realize that the article linked to the restaurant website, where, oddly enough, the correct name is spelled out.

Newport’s annual restaurant week, where eateries offer special prix fixe menus at lunch and dinner time, is held every spring, so keep an eye open for new openings and good deals.

Well, either CNN has breaking news that Newport’s fall Restaurant Week is cancelled…or it’s still a semi-annual affair and they didn’t read the Newport Restaurant Week website that they linked to where it says:

Today, Newport Restaurant Week takes place both in the spring and in the fall [emphasis added] with more than 50 participating restaurants offering extraordinary three-course prix fixe lunches for $16 and three-course prix fixe dinners for $35.

In this case, it’s not a typo, but actual “fake news”.

Now, on to…

Newport’s Hotels

Like Newport itself, the town’s hotels are elegant but understated.

The newest addition to the hotel scene is Gurney’s, which has a respected sibling property in Montauk, Long Island.

The new location makes sense — Montauk is known for being a more reserved part of the Hamptons, just as Newport is to the rest of New England.

Now, this is purely subjective, but Newport is not more reserved than the rest of New England. Anytime you’ve got this many 100’+ yachts in one place, reserve kind of goes out the window. Likewise, we wouldn’t call Gurney’s style “understated”. More…extravagant.

We were going to comment on CNN getting the order of “Vanderbilt Grace” wrong, but it appears that Grace Hotels has decided to flip the order around themselves and CNN was just relaying the new, updated name.

It’s hardly the end of  the world. Newport locals don’t turn to CNN for information about their city. Likewise, people reading the article who decide to visit Newport will turn to plenty of other sources for more relevant information. That said, it’s always a bit annoying to read someone far away tell the world about how things are where you are and get it wrong, just as a time when their credibility is taking a beating.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Travel Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?