On Tuesday, the director of the FBI James Comey was dismissed by President Donald Trump on the recommendation of Attorney-General Jeff Sessions.

Comey was fired, reportedly finding out via television as he spoke to a meeting of FBI staff.

It's a good thing he wasn't watching the Fox show Fox News Specialists which initially reported that he had 'resigned'.

During a debate on American defence policy, the 'lower third' beneath the five panellists read 'James Comey Resigns'.

Speaking to someone off camera, presumably his producer, host Eric Bolling interrupted the panel with breaking news. He seemed sceptical.

James Comey is resigning, is that what you're telling me? He's just announced he's going to step down as head of the FBI.

As this is live TV, Bolling had no choice but to roll with it, and he assumed that Comey resigned because of the Clintons.

I'll bring you in on this, he's been under a lot of scrutiny, you know back and forth with the Clintons, Hillary Clinton's emails and what not, blaming, the left were blaming Comey, for Trump's win. Your thoughts on Comey backing down now.

Approximately 90 seconds later, Bolling updated the panel with the statement from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer that Comey had in fact been dismissed, and not resigned.

Sessions and his deputy recommended the firing, and Trump signed a letter authorising Comey's directorship be terminated immediately.

The beauty of live television means you can watch the mistake be quickly amended, and then watch the panellists pivot from arguing whether Comey swung the election for Trump, to how the FBI needs credibility and therefore president Trump did the right thing.

Other news organisations were not so hasty.

The first report from rival network MSNBC reported:

James Comey is out at the FBI. Essentially a firing. The president apparently asked and received the recommendation of his resignation. Asked for it. It was a recommendation, we are being told, by the attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

And CNN's Wolf Blitzer told viewers:

The President of the United States has terminated the Director of the FBI, James Comey.

This is arguably a mistake, because Donald Trump only dismissed Comey, he didn't send a T-800 after him.

The moment can be seen in this video, approximately 33 minutes in to the programme.

HT Hollywood Reporter

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