Mark Twain never actually wrote “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” but his misattributed aphorism has plenty of application to modern journalism.

President Trump once again made history with his pick of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court last night. Kavanaugh is a well-respected judge who will likely be confirmed by the Senate within the next few months. (RELATED: Five Things You Need to Know About Trump’s SCOTUS Pick.)

The radical Left has other plans, of course. Already, many Democrats are openly wishing for the nomination to fail. And some are even getting violent about it. (RELATED: Fox News Host Forced to Cancel Live SCOTUS Broadcast Due to Leftist Protesters.)

Then there are some who are being subversive about it, spreading false rumors that President Trump and Anthony Kennedy, the departing Supreme Court justice whom Trump is replacing, were in cahoots about naming Kavanaugh to the bench.

NBC Capitol Hill reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell was the first the spread the rumor, posting a bit of hearsay she heard that Kennedy had negotiated for months with Trump for Kavanaugh to be named as his replacement:

The rumor spread like brush fire:

After admitting to having no proof of her assertion other than one unnamed source, she finally apologized for spreading the rumor, and deleted the original tweet:

That didn’t stop other journalists from jumping all over the story, however:

Notice how this was done. First, a journalist floats a kind of trial balloon, suggesting something is really citing an unnamed, unverified source. Then speculation is used to bolster the claim without any actual facts. At last, a correction is used, long after the rumor has become a news item by itself.

This is a new low for the media. Caldwell should be held accountable for spreading a vicious rumor that had no bearing on the truth.