Why does it seem we find it necessary to concentrate on the Mainstream American Media at least half of the time? Some say conservatives do so just because conservatives cannot stand media criticism. Others say it is because Media report the truth and conservatives refuse to accept facts. Neither is true. The fact that these two explanations are the most common given about Americans’ Media distrust illustrates just how out of touch Mainstream Media members are and how smart American voters really are. Let me explain:
1. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.
2. ABC News’ Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with a false report.
3. CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.
4. TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.
5. Washington Post FALSELY reported the President’s massive sold-out rally in Pensacola, Florida was empty. The dishonest reporter showed a picture of empty arena HOURS before the crowd started pouring in.
6. CNN FALSELY edited a video to make it appear President Trump defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister. Japanese prime minister actually led the way with the feeding.
7. CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to a “significant breakdown in the process.”
8. Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump’s hand.
9. CNN FALSELY reported that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump’s claim that he was told he is not under investigation.
10. The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.
11. And last, but not least: “RUSSIA COLLUSION!” Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!
Those are just a few of the hundreds of examples of the ridiculous “reporting” Americans struggle with daily. Who should Americans believe in news reporting? Why should Americans believe ANY news reports!
So let’s just open Pandora’s Box a little bit wider and share the most ridiculous reporting from just 2017. (We’ll take you through 2018 later) Starting in order working backward from December 26, 2017, here is our catalog of 2017’s shoddiest political reporting:
Dec. 26: Stop Making Fund of Me
The Claim: Republicans funded the Trump-Russia dossier.
The Source: CNN’s Evan Perez.
The Facts: GOP donor Paul Singer contracted Fusion GPS via the Washington Free Beacon during the 2016 primaries to perform opposition research on Trump and the other Republican candidates. The research that was done for that specific project is ultimately unrelated to the so-called “Russia dossier.”
Dec. 21: Dismissed!
The Claim: A judge has dismissed a suit accusing President Trump of profiting through his office, ruling that the president had not violated the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The Source: The New York Times.
The Facts: The judge didn’t quite clear Trump of the charges. Rather, the judge said he found the plaintiffs lacked standing. It’s a small thing, and this isn’t really a major mistake on the Times’ part. That said, the reason this since-corrected misfire is so notable is that it stands as one of the extremely rare examples of a media misstep that favored Trump.
Dec. 19: Begging the Begin
The Claim: The GOP “begged” Democrats to work with them on tax reform, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The Source: A headline published by the Hill.
The Facts: She said no such thing. Rather, Sanders said Democrats should have been “begging” the GOP to work with them on the bill.
Dec. 18: Off the Rails
The Claim: A deadly Amtrak derailment in Tacoma, Wash., that killed three people is another example of how the GOP puts tax cuts for the wealthy ahead of funding for infrastructure and technology advancements that could save lives.
The Source: A tweet by MSNBC’s Joy Reid that ended up being shared by more than 10,000 social media users.
The Facts: The derailment happened on a new track built specifically for a brand-new high-speed rail. Reid issued a correction eventually noting the facts of the deadly derailment.
Dec. 15: How Orwellian
The Claim: Under the Trump administration, the CDC has issued a list of banned words, including “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”
The Source: The Washington Post.
The Facts: There is no ban, and there was no attempt by right-leaning ideologues to strip supposedly politically charged language from the CDC’s lexicon. Rather, some bureaucrats suggested that certain words be removed from budget proposals so as to ensure specific programs would get requested funding. “The Times confirmed some details of the report with several officials, although a few suggested that the proposal was not so much a ban on words but recommendations to avoid some language to ease the path toward budget approval by Republicans,” the paper reported.
Dec. 12: Fox Overhype
The Claim: Fox News has obtained roughly 10,000 messages sent by two anti-Trump FBI officials previously involved in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
The Source: Fox News.
The Facts: Fox obtained the same 375 texts that were made available to Congress and the press prior to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s testimony before Congress. The cable news network did not, in fact, have access to additional materials that could’ve have gone a long way to disquieting concerns regarding the fact that the text scandal hinges entirely on out-of-context excerpts taken from private conversations spanning several months.
Dec. 11: Pentagon With the Wind
The Claim: “The Pentagon says it will allow transgender people to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite Trump’s opposition.”
The Source: The Associated Press.
The Facts: Nope. “Just confirmed with the lead lawyer on this case: This tweet is WRONG. The Pentagon will respect a court order requiring transgender enlistment on Jan. 1. That’s it. The order will likely be appealed before then,” reported Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern. “No, the Pentagon did not overrule Trump on the trans troop’s ban,” he added. “I suppose the tweet could be technically correct under an EXTREMELY generous reading of it — but even then, highly irresponsible because anyone without our background knowledge of the case would misunderstand it.”
Dec. 8: Audience Size Twitter is the Best Twitter
The Claim: President Trump appeared before a nearly empty arena in December to stump for Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
The Source: The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel.
The Facts: Weigel shared a picture on Twitter claiming President Trump’s appearance on behalf of Moore had attracted a pitifully small crowd. Weigel was wrong, and the picture he shared was taken prior to the rally’s official start time. Weigel deleted the inaccurate claim and apologized.
Dec. 8: “A Colossal Screw Up”
The Claim: Donald Trump and his inner circle received advance notice during the 2016 presidential election of WikiLeaks’ plans to dump thousands of hacked emails belonging to Democratic National Committee staffers and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
The Source: CNN, MSNBC, and CBS News.
The Facts: The email that supposedly showed the 2016 GOP nominee and his team received advance notice of the email dump was actually sent after the hacked correspondences were made publicly available. CBS, MSNBC, and CNN each reported separately that Trump and his team were given a heads-up, according to an email sent on Sept. 4. In reality, the email in question was sent on Sept. 14, after the emails were published online. The difference between Sept. 4 and Sept. 14 is the difference between someone flagging already public information and someone quietly slipping the GOP nominee and his team advance access to hacked correspondences. In short, the since-amended reports are little more than a “colossal fuck up” for their respective newsrooms, as on CNN reporter put it for the Washington Examiner.
Dec. 5 and Dec. 6: Deutsche Marks
The Claim: Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed President Trump’s bank records.
The Source: Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal.
The Facts: Both newsrooms eventually walked backed their supposed scoops and the stories that remain are now about Trump associates. “Trump’s Deutsche Bank records said to be subpoenaed by Mueller,” read the original Bloomberg headline. A day later, Bloomberg amended the story and the headline so that it now reads, “Deutsche Bank Records Said to Be Subpoenaed by Mueller.” The Wall Street Journal, for its part, published a headline originally titled, “Trump’s Deutsche Bank Records Subpoenaed by Mueller. That headline was corrected eventually to read, “Mueller Subpoenas Deutsche Bank Records Related to Trump.”
Dec. 4: Another Huge Russia Scoop!
The Claim: Former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland appears to have lied to Congress this summer when she testified about disgraced Gen. Michael Flynn’s communications with the Russians, according to her personal emails.
The Source: The New York Times.
The Facts: The Times has amended the article heavily since publication so that it is now mostly innuendo. The initial references to the emails have been removed, and the story now leans mostly on Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who only questions whether McFarland was forthright in her congressional testimony. The report’s core message has been softened considerably since its initial publication. Where the headline once declared that “McFarland Contradicted Herself on Russia Contacts,” the story now reads, “A leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee questioned on Monday whether a high-ranking official in Donald J. Trump’s transition team had been deceptive over the summer about her knowledge of discussions between Michael T. Flynn …” The article, which was once so sure of itself, now eases away from its original message by stating McFarland, “might have given ‘false testimony’ in her answers.” That’s not to say the article doesn’t try to pin something on the former deputy national security adviser. The wink-winking seen in the original version of the story is still there; the language is just less certain.
Dec. 3: Hatched From Thin Air
The Claim: Sen. Orrin Hatch is largely uninterested in rescuing funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program because he believes sick and lazy children do not deserve government aid.
The Source: Journalist Twitter, including MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald, and the Los Angeles Times’ Jamil Smith.
The Facts: Hatch said no such thing. Rather, he said that the “billions and billions” that are wasted on those who can help themselves make it harder to keep CHIP-funded. Hatch said in reference to welfare spending in general: “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger and expect the federal government to do everything.” The senator also said in those same remarks that he’s committed to protecting CHIP funding. Lastly, it’s worth noting Sen. Hatch co-wrote the bill to extend funding for CHIP.
Dec. 2: A Huge Russia Scoop!
The Claim: K.T. McFarland conceded in a private Dec. 29 email that Russia tipped the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor.
The Source: The New York Times.
The Facts: McFarland did indeed write that Russia “has just thrown the U.S.A. election to [Trump].” However, as Times report itself noted, she most likely said this in a paraphrase of Democratic criticisms of the Trump administration. The White House certainly denied she wrote it in earnest. The Times’ breathless handling of a single excerpt from her emails nevertheless set off a news cycle alleging McFarland had actually conceded Russia stole the U.S. election for Trump.
Dec. 2: A Kushner Job
The Claim: Kushner ordered Flynn to contact the Russians.
The Source: A headline published by the Hill.
The Facts: White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly ordered Gen. Flynn during the transition period to contact Russian officials about a certain U.N. resolution. That’s it. The headline suggests something much more ominous, but it’s just not there.
Dec. 1: Lobbyists Everywhere
The Claim: More than 6,000 lobbyists worked on GOP tax reform bill.
The Source: A headline published by the Hill.
The Facts: The report itself notes that there are, “11,000 active lobbyists in the nation’s capital … and more than half of them — 6,243 — have reported working on taxes this year.”
That’s not quite the same thing as working specifically on the GOP’s tax bill.
Dec. 1: Flynn, ABC News, and Brian Ross
The Claims: Former national security advisor Gen. Michael Flynn is prepared to testify that, as a candidate, Donald Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians.
The Source: ABC News’ Brian Ross.
The Facts: The referenced directive came after the 2016 election. The president-elect reportedly ordered his transition team to contact Russia and other world leaders regarding the incoming administration’s foreign policy objectives, which is standard for incoming presidents. It took ABC eight hours to issue a correction. When it did, it characterized it incorrectly as a “clarification.” Ross was suspended for his error and subsequently banned from any further coverage of the president.
Nov. 30: Plagiarist Not
The Claim: Ivanka Trump plagiarized one of her own speeches during her visit to India
The Source: Newsweek.
The Facts: Ivanka Trump didn’t plagiarize a thing. She referenced her earlier, original speeches. That’s called repeating yourself. The Newsweek story has since been amended so that the headline now reads, “Ivanka Trump Recycles One of Her Own Speeches in India.” The article also includes an editor’s note that reads, “The headline of this story was changed to reflect that Trump reused portions of an earlier speech rather than ‘plagiarized’ it.”
Nov. 9: Not a First
The Claim: Trump is the first president since George H.W. Bush to fail to take questions from reporters alongside his Chinese counterpart on his first visit to China.
The Source: CNN’s Jeremy Diamond.
The Facts: Trump is the first U.S. president since the last U.S. president to take no questions during the first trip to China. Former President Barack Obama took no questions with the Chinese president during their first meeting in China.
Nov. 6: Japan and Cars
The Claim: President Trump doesn’t know Japan already builds cars in the United States.
The Source: CNN.
The Facts: The president is definitely aware Japanese businesses build cars in the U.S. “[W]e have a couple of the great folks from two of the biggest auto companies in the world that are building new plants and doing expansions of other plants,” Trump said in his address to Japanese business leaders on Nov. 6. “I also want to recognize the business leaders in the room whose confidence in the United States — they’ve been creating jobs — you have such confidence in the United States, and you’ve been creating jobs for our country for a long, long time.” He added, “Several Japanese automobile industry firms have been really doing a job. And we love it when you build cars — if you’re a Japanese firm, we love it — try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over.
Nov. 6: Don’t Be So Koi
The Claim: President Trump embarrassed himself in Japan when he dumped all of his fish food during the ceremonial feeding of the palace koi.
The Source: CNN, the New York Daily News the Guardian and many more.
The Facts: Full video of the event showed Trump was only following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s lead. The two world leaders visited the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, where they were both given individual boxes of fish food for the traditional feeding of the palace’s koi fish. The president and the prime minister spooned in their feed a little at a time. Abe then dumped the rest of his box into the pond. Trump followed suit, spooning in just a little at first, and then dumping out the remnants of his box. That’s it.
Nov. 2: Kill Him Two Times
The Claim: The fact that Donald Trump called for the death penalty for vehicular terrorist Sayfullo Saipov, but not for the white man who carried out the Las Vegas shooting, suggests the U.S. president is probably racist.
The Source: GQ magazine.
The Facts: Trump probably hasn’t called for the death penalty for Stephen Paddock because the Las Vegas shooter is already dead. Meanwhile, the man who killed eight people in New York City on Oct. 31 is still very much alive.
October 19: Flunking a True Statement
The Claim: No, the Clintons were not paid millions by Russia.
The Source: Newsweek.
The Facts: Yes, the Clintons have accepted millions of dollars from Russian entities. Newsweek’s supposed fact check came in response to a tweet from President Trump that read, “Russia sent millions to Clinton Foundation.” He is not wrong, and the Newsweek article acknowledges as much. It acknowledges that former President Bill Clinton received a generous $500,000 speaking fee in 2010 from a Kremlin-linked bank with ties to Uranium One, a Canadian uranium company that had mines in the U.S. The Newsweek article also acknowledges a separate New York Times report that showed Uranium One’s chairman donated approximately $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation in four separate installments as his company was being acquired by a Russian nuclear energy firm called Rosatom. The Newsweek article doesn’t, however, acknowledge that Uranium One owners donated an estimated $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. That particularly glaring omission is just icing on a crummy cake.
Oct. 13: Lyin’ Ryan
The Claim: House Speaker Paul Ryan said it’s on hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico to get back on its own two feet.
The Source: The Hill, MSNBC’s Joy Reid, NowThis News’ Matt Saccaro, SB Nation’s Marc Normandin.
The Facts: Ryan wasn’t being callous about the situation in Puerto Rico, nor did he dismiss the issue as merely a problem for the small unincorporated U.S. territory. “There’s a humanitarian crisis that has to be attended to. And this is an area where the federal government has a responsibility, and we’re acting on it…Yes, we need to make sure that Puerto Rico can begin to stand on its own two feet,” he said. Ryan added, “They’ve already had tough fiscal problems, to begin with,” the House Speaker told reporters this week. “We’ve got to do more to help Puerto Rico rebuild its own economy so that it can be self-sufficient.”
Oct. 2: The Mentally Ill and Guns
The Claim: Republicans have made it easier for the mentally ill to buy guns.
The Source: An oldie, recycled most recently by Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne and Politico’s Michael Grunwald,
The Facts: This is a malicious smear. Here’s what happened: Congress voted to overturn a last-minute Obama-era regulation that would give the Social Security Administration the power to revoke a person’s Second Amendment rights based on whether he receives disability for a mental impairment that keeps him from working, or if he “[uses] a representative payee to help manage their benefits.” The repeal of the Obama-era regulation “doesn’t allow people to buy guns who have been properly adjudicated by a court of law as mentally ill or unstable,” as my Washington Examiner colleague David Freddoso explained at the time. “The Obama-era rule was designed to take away people’s rights without due process of law. It would have flagged the names of people who, for example, have an anxiety disorder or depression which keeps them from working, and who, as the SSA puts it, ‘need help in managing [their] personal money affairs,'” he added. “As the many non-political mental health and autism advocacy groups that supported the House action noted, there is no link between these factors and a propensity for violence.”
Republican lawmakers were joined in their opposition to the regulation by a number of disability and civil liberty advocacy groups, including the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Arc of the United States, the Association of Mature American Citizens, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Council on Disability, the National Disability Rights Network and the American Civil Liberties Union. Like the GOP, these organizations held that the Obama gun regulation posed a threat to civil liberties. They also argued that the now-defunct regulation stigmatized the disabled. The opposition wasn’t about making it “easier” for the mentally unstable to get their hands on firearms. Only an intentionally uncharitable read of the issue would take someone to that conclusion. The opposition was about restoring due process rights to people caught up in the now-defunct regulation’s overly broad guidelines.
Oct. 2: Gun Lift
The Claim: The House is voting to lift restrictions on gun suppressors just days after a mass shooting event in Clarke County, Nevada, left 58 dead and hundreds more wounded.
The Source: CNN chief national security correspondent and former Obama State Department official Jim Sciutto, NBC News’ Rebecca Sanchez and Mic’s Emily C. Singer.
The Facts: The House had no plans that week to address H.R.3668, which includes a provision that would loosen federal restrictions on gun suppressors. It never did. This story appears to have originated with a San Francisco Chronicle report titled, “Pair of pro-gun bills on move in House.” The article suggests the House “could pass” the SHARE Act as soon as this week, but it never provides proof of this claim. The closest that the report gets to backing the allegation is when it cites House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who said last week that the House had the votes to pass H.R.3668. A review of the House’s legislative itinerary for the week beginning Oct. 2 showed the measure was not scheduled for consideration. A handout provided to reporters on Sept. 29 by the office of Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s, R-Calif., which is responsible for setting the House’s legislative agenda, also showed no signs of the SHARE Act. A source in McCarthy’s office also confirmed the bill was never slated for consideration that week. In short, this particular narrative is a total fabrication.
We’re going to stop right there…and we’ve only finished one quarter from the last year! But don’t worry: below this story finds a link that includes the Media lies listed above as well as all those to finish up the last 12 months.
Here’s the point of all this: we cannot trust the Mainstream Media for truth. We all must use what they tell us as nothing more than a starting point. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it now: we MUST research for truth on our own. It’s out there. There are plenty of resources in which you will find the truth on any item.
And of course, you can always come right here to the TruthNewsNetwork! We never tell you WHAT to think. But we DO give you things to THINK ABOUT.
2017 Media Lies
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