Fake News: Trump versus the Media

The other day, after the Press claimed President Trump was denying them access and breaking decorum by occasionally answering the questions of the conservative “right wing” Press: unlike Obama and Hillary who were both less accessible and almost never called on the right-wing Press at all. (How unfair). So Trump held a Press conference where he answered all their questions from all sides (for an unheard of 90 minutes): proving the Press wrong in their premise, which they promptly ignored and changed the topic on. 

For most of that conference, the Press kept asking the President questions about themselves and other fake news stories (like Russia, etc), and they were shocked that he answered them… and the topic of fake news and bad reporting kept coming up. Instead of reporting on their errors, any of the President’s valid points, or being impressed with his stamina in the face of a hostile opposition-party posing as a press-pool, they went back and wrote exactly what they would have if he hadn’t spoken to them: inventing a plethora of ways that the President was wrong for existing, and for beating out their candidate (Hillary Clinton). They claimed it was hostile and Unpresidential for a President to stay on topic, and an attack for anyone but them to have an opinion and telling the truth by excoriating the media for the lies that they had been telling. 

While I’m no fan and didn’t vote for Trump, the Presses caustic duplicity is pushing me more and more to his side. Every topic they cover looks the same; ask the President a question and then pounce on the worst thing said in the President’s usual word-slurry on any topic, give him no benefit of the doubt, and no quarter, then exaggerate the worst thing said, omit context (lie of omission), then act shocked when he later responds to it. Then quickly move on before their readers fact check or read the corrections/clarifications/retractions they are later forced to do. And all this is in stark contrast to the fawning, puff questions and water-carrying when there’s a President with a (d) after their name. Here’s just a few examples of fake fake stories, invented by the media, to attack Trump and his supporters, or twist history.  

Fake News Stories

Trump is a racist, we know because despite being 70 years old, there’s virtually no evidence of it. The best evidence they could come up includes: 

  • Trump removed the MLK Bust [NB], only the truth is the opposite. Obama removed a Churchill bust and sent it back which was seen as an insult, then Obama lied about doing it (but was caught). Then Obama said there wasn’t enough room for both Churchill and MLK in the Oval Office. Trump brought the Churchill bust back, and kept the MLK bust as well — proving Obama a liar again. 
  • Trump changed Black History Month to “African American History Month”, a term Obama and others used as well [Examiner]
  • He’s got an (R) after his name, so they’ll claim it (like they did against Romney, McCain, Bush, Bush, Reagan, and every other Republican), knowing their side won’t care about unsubstantiated libel, and will ignore the far more over racism on their side of the aisle (Black Lives Matters, Affirmative Action, New Black Panthers, La Raza, and so on). 
  • Some lawsuit against his fathers company, 45 years ago, when everyone in NY was sued for racial discrimination, that an apartment building wasn’t as inviting to black tenants as it could have been. 
  • If Trump isn’t, the people around him are. Steve Bannon and Brietbart are alt-right, which is white-supremacist, anti-semitic, Neo-nazi organization. You can tell, because because they were founded by a Jew (Andrew Breitbart) to advance Israel, and is staffed/edited mostly by Jews, and the press couldn’t find any of that staff would substantiate their claims of racism (many defended him instead). Plus Milo Yiannopoulos (one of their most visible contributors) is a gay-Jew with a penchant for black partners. All behaviors that are highly sought after amongst Neo-Nazi’s and white supremacists. 
  • During the campaign Trump said that illegal aliens from Mexico, were over-represented in prisons, and weren’t exactly Mexico’s best and brightest. Or that a Mexican-American activist judge that ruled against him was biased by his political agendas. Never mind that Mexican is not a race (so it can’t be racism), or that we know what he said was actually true (gang activity, prison roles, many crimes, and under-education are chronic problems in the illegal alien community). For more, read: "Is Trump a a racist”.
  • Breakout of violent assaults after Trump won – no reporting that many were faked, many were liberals doing it, most of the rest unconfirmed, and they all seemed to be happening in liberal strongholds (College towns or campuses, where there are few conservatives). For more, read: “Your side is worse” 
  • Exit polls show Trump got better turn-out by minorities and Women than Romney or McCain — blowing away the sexism/racism charge, and the FakeNews that it was all because of white poor people meme that was also popular excuse for leftists. The media did gymnastics to try to distract from that, or make excuses.  

There’s a slurry of Russia stories, so far the best of them had small grains of truth in their long winded lies of omission. The worst have been completely disproven. But the media is spewing the hate faster than an farm tractor can throw fertilizer. 

  • Russian hacked the election [NB] – only that never really happened. There’s no evidence that they altered a single vote, had anything to do with Wikileaks reporting on the Hillary hacks, or that those changed anyone’s minds. 
  • WaPo: there was a Vermont Power Hack by the Russian [NB][NB2][Blaze], only that never really happened either.
  • CNN: Trump has ties to Russia and Controlled by Putin [NB], never mind, all those turned out to be false or unprovable. 
  • CNN: Trump is into Watersport with Russian Hookers, never mind – that was an unsubstantiated report with many glaring errors in it, that no one credible took seriously enough to report it to the President. [Forbes]
  • NBC: Trump eased restrictions on Russia (payback for helping him)... only it turns out the fix had been started under Obama administration [Twitter]
  • [Raw Story] Trump’s team switched off recording devices during the president’s call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, why would they do that? Only the Whitehouse never use recording devices (after Nixon).
  • Well, there’s a Russian Spy boat trolling off the east coast… just like there has been since the 1960’s, and we have whole fleets patrolling off their coast. 

Muslim Ban

– Trump said that we should have a 120 day pause in immigration from countries the Obama administration named as threats (us being unable to vet people from them) while we fixed our vetting policies. The media totally misreported it and the Soros funded protesters that came out and disrupted airport travel. This policy was regardless of religion, and ignores 90% of the Muslim’s in the world (including the most populous Muslim countries). The media and left lost their nut because this wasn’t nearly as bad as Obama, Bush, Carter, FDR, or other Democrat Presidents had done in the past with their immigration bans (pauses). They hyped, attacked, sensationalized, and got almost everything wrong, including:

  • CNN: Mother died from Muslim Ban [NB], only she’d died weeks before. 
  • NBC: Edited a Giuliani quote to imply Trump told Giuliani to create a muslim ban, when it was the opposite: a ban based on threats not religion [NB], the fraudulent quote spread like wildfire through social media, the truth is still putting it’s shoes on. (The lie is still repeated in media interviews without correction by the reporters)
  • CNBC (John Harwood): Well, the reason for the failed roll-out was they kept other agencies like the Justice Department in the dark. Only it turns out that Obama Appointee and Acting Atty. Gen. Sally Yates had vetted and approved the Executive Order, then later flipped and refused to defend it and was fired [Justice Dept]. The media attacked the firing as politically motivated, and wasn’t interested in the slightest why she would approve something them not defend it (flip 180°). 
  • This completely legal act was questioned on it’s constitutionality and when the 9th Circuit (with it’s 80% overturn rate) blocked this, instead of offering any competent constitutional analysis, celebrated this as a victory for the rule of law, when credible analysis admitted the judge was way out of bounds. 

AP, NYP & WaPo Announced mobilizing National Guard to round up Illegal Aliens [HotAir], and they suddenly remembered Posse Comitatus Act which they had forgotten all about during Bush’s response to Katrina, and doesn’t apply since the one memo that said they might consider supporting governors (if they requested it), wouldn’t apply, since they were only considering it on an invite-only basis. The media also sensationalized innocent immigrants getting rounded up (scaring people) and trying to incite more unrest, but it turns out almost all have been repeat felons, and Obama was deporting more folks than Trump during one of his round-ups [Examiner]. So if this is what fascism looks like, it’s near impossible to tell from prior administrations. 

Trump is illegitimate – since his win, anything that makes Trump look weak, unpopular, or sensationalizing protests, has been the media’s shtick, no matter what truths they have to overlook, or what lies they have to tell to further that agenda. 

  • Popular vote versus electoral vote was one of the first invented meme’s. The media went from saying how important the electoral college was one week (when they thought Hillary might lose the popular vote, but win electorally), to the exact opposite a week or two later, when the opposite proved true. They told stories about how Hillary won the most votes ever [Yahoo], she didn’t. Then they gave attention to anyone that had anything to say about how unjust the electoral college was (while ignoring that winner-take-all states like California regularly use the same concept to suppress rural voters in their states). 
  • Voter Fraud – Trump pointed out that he likely won the popular vote, an overly rosy exaggeration (one unsubstantiated study claimed that, a couple others implied it might be close). The media lost their nut again, and claimed that voter fraud never happens, and that Trump was a liar and so on. And the left wing press all ignored the studies and data we do have, which implies that while Trump wouldn’t have won, he probably would have been 2 million or so votes closer to winning. 
  • Protests – There were many staged protests over Trump’s win. In English they would actually be called riots, since they contained violence, assaults, vandalism and sometimes murders, and since they were often sponsored by left wing agitators and activists (like Soros), terrorism is also an actual word that should be used. They preferred to ignore anything bad that happened, and talk about all the fear about Trump, while ignoring that it was their misreporting and exaggerations that was causing the fear and stirring up the over-reactions, which is anything but grass-roots or spontaneous. (And certainly not comparing the filth and damage to the dangerous Tea Party protests, that cleaned up after themselves). When the right pointed out that the left always protests and exaggerates when the right wins (as they did under Bush, Bush, Reagan, Nixon) — and that the Democratic congressmen and Senators always make a big show of protest (and boycotting) the inauguration, the AP denies that Democrats also boycotted Bush43 [NB], and were of course later proven wrong. 
  • Approval ratings were something the Press had great interest in when Obama ranked high, later when he ended with a lower average than most other presidents of the last two generations, they virtually never reported it. But Trump’s popularity was floating above Obama’s average (and is still above it amongst some pollsters), but they like to only report the worst slants, by sources that under-estimated Trump’s win in many areas by as much as 17 points (yeah, they’re credible). They also ignore the parts they don’t like: that Trump’s approval is higher than Ronald Reagan amongst Republicans at this point, or that his approval rating is 4 or 5 times that of the media itself. So if you ignore that he’s doing better than Obama, Hillary or the Press polls, then Trump is doing pretty badly, and that’s the story they’re sticking to (and omitting all the facts that disagree). 
  • Claims FakeNews responsible for Hillary Loss, only this backlashed against them. There were more fake news stories against Trump, or for Hillary, and no evidence that in net these helped Trump more than her. The right has been complaining about Fake News on the left for decades, and quickly hijacked their slur and turned it into a campaign for truth in the media. The left leaning news had given us Brian Williams [Br], Dan Rather’s fake reporting on GW Bush, the NY Times and Washington Post surrendering Pulitzer Prizes for a fake stories, NBC faking exploding GM trucks, Jon Stewart, John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Steven Colbert, Samantha Bee, and other fake reporters twisting stories for decades. There’s a landslide of evidence against the media bias (like this from MRC: http://www.mrc.org/media-bias-101) proving how left-leaning the media is, and how biased they are (or how many stories turn out to be fake/exaggerated) — and the left was shocked that the right gleefully jumped on the fake-news meme to point out the leftist medias hypocrisy, and is now-force-feeding them the truth, against their political wishes.
  • Inauguration crowds became a story after the media showed a misleading picture comparing Trump crowd size to Obama’s, while omitting context. Trump of course overreacted to the obvious biased attacks on his legitimacy, and said that counting TV and online he had the largest audience ever, which seems completely true — the media usually omitted that he said “including online”, and ignores that Trump did have the highest attendance for any Republican administration ever, which destroys the “he’s not legitimate” point that they’re pushing. If right wing papers had been a fraction of disingenuous towards Obama, they would have been called racists. 

Chaos in the administration

  • [The Atlantic / Steve Clemons] Secret Service personnel were forced to resign last week, and they were escorted suddenly out of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building… the agency said it never happened, and they were never contacted by the reporter [Examiner][Twitter] That’s the epitome of fake news. 
  • State Department Resigned en masse – [WaPo] – this was yuuuge, it was a mass resignation in protest of the Trump administration, only it is normal for appointees to tender resignations to the new administration, and it is normal for administrations to accept some of them. This was Trump accepting 4 of them. 
  • Website Down – [WaPo][CBS][The Hill] Trump was purging the Whitehouse website of climate change, LGBT rights, and others signaling a Stalin-esque purging and rewriting of History and destroying valuable resources that nobody used. Oh wait, all new administrations archive the old page, and replace it with the new one. [Examiner]
  • EPA Gag Order – [AP][BuzzFeed] Trump administration issued a gag-order to violate the 1st Amendment by telling the EPA, Dept. of Interior, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, to muzzle science! Oh wait, the EPA and USDA admitted, this happened in every administration and is normal transition, never mind [NYT
  • Trump wanted his hands made bigger – [NY Observer / Dana Schwartz] told people on public media that Trump was having the size of his hands altered, which spread widely, and was slowly debunked and then dropped. 

Appointments 

  • WaPo: DeVos thinks school administrators should carry guns because you never know when a bear might attack. Of course what actually happened was when pressed on whether she support gun bans in schools, she said it should be left to local municipalities. When pressed further, she used Wapiti (Sen. Mike Enzi’s story) as an example where they might want a gun to defend against Grizzlies, as he’d talked about a school in Wapiti Wyoming (outside Yellowstone) that had fences to keep out Grizzlies. It was a contextual response, and taking it out of context is a lie of omission. 
  • ABC: Spicer is a hothead says Ari Fliecher [NB], only Ari slammed ABC for totally reversing what he’d said. 
  • Flynn 
    • A Democrat and Obama appointee had meeting with the Russians, while Obama was still President. Because he was being too chummy with the Republicans, the Democrats had their CIA spy on him, then illegally leak classified information to the public/press, for the sin of talking about something that was legal (but not trying to torpedo the new administration and worsen relations with the Russians). They also sensationalized stories of domestic abuse (that had been recanted).
    • The side that was mocking Republicans (Romney) for saying the Russians were still a threat during the 2012 election, and the side that started their administration with a failed "reset" button (mistranslated to "overcharged"), and that broke a treaty to let Russia have major parts of the Ukraine/Crimea, and that tried to fix multiple foreign elections (including sending operatives to Israel), is complaining because this administration is going in without trying to antagonize the Russians enough, because they have zero hard evidence that the Russians did anything or had any success "fixing" an American election? None of those aspects of the Russia/New President story are mentioned. 
    • Who here thinks that if Trump had been less cordial with the Russian, these same media hacks would be hand wringing and teeth gnashing about how all the Republicans are war-hawks provoking isolated fallen regimes like Russia into a war footing? 
    • CBS & ABC, MSNBC, Flynn claims Trump is scapegoating him, based on a fake tweet by a fake twitter account [NB][NB2]
  • NY Post, Keith Olbermann, USNews: Gorsuch Founded ‘Fascism Forever’ Club [NB], only it never happened. 

Foreign Relations & "Bad Calls"

  • [WaPo][NYP][NYT]: Trump blew a gasket at Australian Prime Minister [NB] and hung up on Turnbull, only the truth is Obama’s raw deal had been a point of contention for months (the press avoided discussed how dumb an idea it is, for Americans to take illegal refugees to Australia), and Turnbull said he didn’t hang up on him [Twitter].  
  • [AP][WaPo] Trump threatened to invade Mexico during a phone call with Mexican president Enrique Pena — CNN and both governments claim it never happened [Twitter]. 
  • Media ignored improving relations with the UK, Israel, Russia, Japan, NATO (who agreed to finally live up to their defense obligations) — and avoided comparing that to Obama SNAFU’s with breaking decorum bowing repeatedly, misspelling “rest button” to Russia, and insulting the United Kingdom with returning the bust of Churchill or sending them DVD’s of himself in a format they couldn’t use, or repeated insults to Netenyahu (including meddling in their election against him), and so on. This is called a lie of omission. 

Fake Meme’s

While the media isn’t solely responsible for what false meme’s go viral, unless they’re actively correcting them, they’re at least partly responsible. And if they’re actively getting the story wrong at the start (then quietly offering corrections on page 5), then they’re certainly not innocent. And they too often get caught exaggerating, and those that believe them get dumber. This is not a responsible media acting in a non-partisan fashion. Examples:

  • Terror attack in Sweden: Donald Trump talked about a non-existent terror attack. Only he didn’t. Amongst a half dozen areas where open borders was leading to friction, civl unrest, crime and retaliation, he mentioned Sweden as one of them — which is completely true. But he said, “last night” (referring to a video from last night, not the event from last night). The media falsely sensationalize it as a non-existent terror attack. It was not a smoothly worded statement, that he repeated. But it was not nearly as newsworthy as the media pretends. Like the year of the shark, or spelling potato with an E, the media falsely hypes things. 
  • This also deals with Kellyanne Conway mentioning a thwarted terror attack in Bowling Green. She said “massacre” and claims she meant “masterminds”. I’m not sure I buy that. But the basics are that they’re talking about valid threats and risks, and the media is taking any misstep as mocking the premise to discount the meat off the discussion, which is valid. This is like playing Obama as a retard because he stammers perpetually while discussing important topics, only the right wing media was generally more responsible than that. 
  • Look at every meme that sensationalized something, Trump was going to round up illegals in internment camps, he hates Gays (that’s why he had them speak on his behalf at his inauguration), or other scare-mongering. The media is not generally being responsible in tamping it down: they’re hyping it up to justify their sides bad behavior. The differences in how they treated the Tea Party to the Anti-Trumpers, or sensationalizing stories about how Trump is going to start licensing or hunting down the media.  

Barely covered stories

You can tell bias not only by what they cover, but what they don’t cover, or how they cover. Imagine you had a competent and fair media during the campaign. And they were doing a story on Trump for saying he grabbed girls by the pussy and they like it (or let him). What they would do is have a comparison, and say, how does this compare to the positives he’s done for Women over the years and what Women who know him think about him or that? And how does it compare to Hillary, who defended rapists like her husband, and attacked their victims, and laughed about it. Which is worse? The fact that you can’t remember that happening in the left-stream media, tells you all you need to know about their interests in fairness and covering the whole truth. Here’s some other examples: 

  • The stock market has been going like gang-busters recovered more since Trump’s election than the first 5 years of Obama. Why isn’t this bigger news? Why isn’t their a comparison? 
  • Let’s look at Obama or Clinton’s scandals — Clinton had things like Waco by this time in tenure, that was a far bigger civil rights fuck-up than anything in Trump. What were the Obama, Reagan, Nixon, or Carter scandals. Give us context. 
  • How much more obstructionist is this Democrat Congress/Senate than any other in history, based on attempted delays, tantrums, filibusters, press conferences attacking the new administration and so on? We know it’s far more than any in my lifetime, but how much more? And if it was wrong (according to Democrats and the Media) under Obama, then how much more wrong are these guys to not lead by example and behave better, after decrying the behavior of the other side? 
  • A fair comparison on the good or bad tradeoffs of a wall, and comparing the costs of building it (and the jobs created), to say the infrastructure programs Obama and the Democrats championed like say Cash-for-Clunkers, or Solyndra. Or if you don’t want to spike the football, something that wasn’t as disastrous. 
  • Any of the good in any of Trump’s policies or executive orders — and there are many his supporters like: deregulation, TPP, Sanctuary Cities, Keystone and Dakota access pipelines that Obama said he’d give a fair hearing and blocked for 8 years, trimming the federal bureaucracy, reversing a law saying teen girls and boys would be force to share bathrooms and showers and so on. 
  • Trump’s controversial executive orders enjoy the approval of Americans registered to vote. Ending federal support for sanctuary cities: 55/33 support/oppose, border wall 48/42%, ending the TPP  47/33%. Where’s the stories diving into the popularity of each of his policies? That seems newsworthy, does it not? 
  • Obama operatives were trying to torpedo Trump with leaks and lies and that’s where most of these “leaks” which later turn out false or half-truths seem to be coming from. Or there’s concerns about the deep-state (people in the Bureaucracy that don’t switch with administrations) trying to torpedo Trump because he’s trying to “drain the swamp”, and they don’t like that? 
  • Award shows and celebrities that go political become less popular (they alienate part of their audience), let’s talk about ratings trends as Hollywood becomes more political. Or the same with Newspapers like the NYT, as they’ve become more liberal (and they narrowed their audience) their readership has declined, any correlations? 
  • http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/02/17/trump-executive-orders-elite-popular-polls-muslim-ban-immigration-column/97920456/

I could go on, and on, but you get the point. There’s a lot of bias in not only what’s covered, but how it is covered and what isn’t covered. I find the most interesting stories are on the road less travelled. 

Conclusion

If you don’t doubt any of that (or have Trump Derangement Syndrome), then facts probably aren’t going to get through to you. But if you have a scintilla of critical thinking skills left, and the slightest interest in considering things from the other side of the aisle, then this evidence will be compelling. 

Trump is no saint, he’s a windy pontificator that overstates things — but what he overstates is often mostly true. There’s a point to what he’s saying that deserves to be honestly dissected and considered with both the truths and falsehoods called out. The media doesn’t try to do that. They exaggerate what he said, omit context then, then attack their straw men. Then they deny they do it. And that’s far more dishonest than what Trump did — which is why this polarization has divided the nation amongst the left (who doesn’t care about how dishonest their side is, and only seems to care about the other), and the right and middle, who seem more ready to both admit their sides politicians flaws, and consider the context of what was said and how and what it meant. 

The media claims some dominion over fairness and honesty and their army of fact checkers, to be fair and balanced, and to be better than politicians — and then they make more mistakes than Trump does, despite that. And their mistakes aren’t accidental, many are sloppiness, eagerness to spin a narrative, and a willingness to ignore counter balances. While I don’t like those behaviors from politicians, and in this case Trump is no better (or little worse) than most. I like those same behaviors even less from sanctimonious douchebags claiming to be journalists, but acting like propagandists. 

References

Older Fake News

Obama Fake News

  • "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” – we know this was false all along, and anyone with a clue knew it
  • "Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” 
  • The Iran deal was negotiated with moderate Iranians, not the radical mullahs
  • Bowe Bergdahl exchange was hard-fought/negotiated
  • Benghazi attack inspired by online viral video
  • Cuba has great health care; murderous dictator Fidel Castro was good
  • Myth of the killer cop epidemic

Fake News about Fake News

2017.02.18