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CNN reported that President Barack Obama resigned today.
Correspondent John King took to the airwaves this morning to explain an email from White House press secretary Jay Carney saying Barack Obama had quit over "budget issues."
The network was forced to retract its claim five minutes later, however, when it realized that King had taken the email out of context. The embarrassing gaffe comes just one day after CNN falsely reported that an arrest had been made in the Boston Marathon bombing case
"We're following a major news story here at CNN," King told his live audience. "According to an email from a very high level source within the White House, President Barack Obama has resigned effective immediately over some sort of budget problem.
"Again we don't have all the details, and nothing has been confirmed. But we're going to repeat this anyway - it appears that U.S. President Barack Obama has resigned this morning due to a nonspecific issue surrounding the budget."
After leading a brief discussion panel speculating as to exactly why Obama chose to be the first president since Richard Nixon to quit, CNN producers forced King to apologize on-air for the report.
"I am just getting word that our producers have reviewed the email in question," a chastised King declared, "and they have found no evidence of Obama's resignation. It appears that the email only concerns budget negotiations, and the word 'resigned' was taken out of context.
"We'd like to sincerely apologize to our viewers for this bit of misinformation. Again for those just joining us, President Barack Obama had not resigned today as previously reported on this network."
Indeed examination of the email shows it was nothing more than a routine press release sent to thousands of journalists. The sentence causing the confusion read:
"'Barack Obama is resigned to a smaller budget bill which does not include any new stimulus spending."
In a statement CNN explained that King's misreporting is simply par for the course in the news business.
"In today's 24-hour news cycle fast moving events can often throw even the best networks off guard. CNN deeply regrets this latest error, but we in no way feel it jeopardizes our hard-earned reputation for credibility."