Tag Archives: fake news shown to be really fake

If all the fake news is really fake, does that mean the fake news is true?

Research has shown that over 90% of the media’s coverage of President Trump is negative.  2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even outright fake news.

Here’s some of the proof that the fake news is really fake:

The New York Times “won” first place for an op-ed about Trump’s effect on the markets, published right after the election.

CNN, perhaps not surprisingly given Trump’s vitriol, took home four “honors.”

Trump’s list is a collection of some of the biggest journalistic errors of the past year (and a lesson in the perils of aggregating viral videos or sending hasty tweets).

The aftermath of the stories listed also shows news organizations’ commitment to setting the record straight. In almost every case, media outlets issued corrections. When reporters made mistakes, they acknowledged them repeatedly. In one instance, the reporters and editors involved resigned.

Below is an annotated list, to give some context to these “awards.” The full list is (probably) available here.

1. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.

This is a short op-ed, published, it appears, soon after the election — a prediction, not a report.

2. ABC News’ Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report.

ABC News was rightly criticized for botching a report that said President Trump had directed Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russians. Ross later issued a clarification on “World News Tonight,” and ABC News followed up with a full apology for the “serious error,” which it said had not met the network’s editorial standards or vetting process. Ross was suspended from ABC News for four weeks as a result of his misreporting.

3. CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.

CNN initially falsely reported that Donald Trump Jr. received an email from Wikileaks about hacked DNC documents on September 4 — which would have implied he had advance notice of the trove to be released online. But Trump Jr. actually received that email on September 14, the day after the cache was posted online. The Washington Post revealed the discrepancy and CNN issued a prominently placed correction, though the error undercut the entire report.

4. TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.

Time reporter Zeke Miller initially reported that the bust was gone, but followed up quickly with a correction. He sent out numerous tweets and apologies immediately correcting the record.

5. Washington Post FALSELY reported the President’s massive sold-out rally in Pensacola, Florida was empty. Dishonest reporter showed picture of empty arena HOURS before crowd started pouring in.

Dave Weigel, a reporter at the Washington Post, tweeted a picture that underestimated crowd for Trump’s rally in Pensacola. Weigel deleted the initial tweet from his private account, saying “it was a bad tweet on my personal account, not a story for the Washington Post.”

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.

The videos and photos of Trump dumping an entire box of food into a koi pond circulated widely on social media, and were picked up by CNN and others before fact-checkers pointed out that the full video disproved the notion that Trump committed a faux pas — although CNN did write in its story that “Abe… actually appeared to dump out his box of food ahead of Trump.”

7. CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to a “significant breakdown in process.”

This retracted story was one of CNN’s biggest black eyes of 2017, but the network’s response was severe — three reporters and editors resigned as a result, including the executive editor in charge of investigations.

8. Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump’s hand.

Like the koi pond incident, this was a case of a publication (Newsweek, but also Vanity Fair, Time, and The Hill, and that’s just from the first page of Google results) reporting on a viral video clip without seeing the whole story — which, in this case, showed that the Polish first lady eventually shook Trump’s hand after shaking Melania’s first. Newsweek updated its story within three hours with a correction: “The mildly awkward and humorously relatable exchange was just that, and no apparent swipe at the U.S. president.”

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.

Here’s what CNN got wrong: “One source said Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation.” That source was apparently incorrect, and the story was corrected and updated after publication. (One of the reporters involved in this story, Eric Lichtblau, resigned after the Scaramucci report, No. 7 on this list, a few weeks later.)

10. The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.

This isn’t exactly what happened. The Times reported in August that scientists were afraid that the Trump administration would suppress a report on the impact of climate change that was awaiting review, and said it was making the draft publicly available for the first time. This wasn’t true — the report had surfaced on the nonprofit Internet Archive in January 2017, and the Trump administration still had time to approve and publish the report.

As the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple wrote at the time, this was a significant blow to the Times’s premise. But the reporters never claimed the Trump administration had already suppressed the report. (The climate change report was eventually published.)

11. And last, but not least: “RUSSIA COLLUSION!” Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!

Besides Ross’s error, Trump did not call out any specific story about the Russia probe or special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Trump, after posting the link to the awards, wrote, “There are many great reporters I respect and lots of GOOD NEWS for the American people to be proud of!” But so far, no word of any awards for that.

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  A journalist in days gone by would not print a story, and certainly would not allow his or her name to be attached to the story, unless all facts and statements in the story had been checked, rechecked, and fully verified. That is, or was, simply a part of being a professional journalist.  It’s no different than telling lies to people you know.  Once you are known for telling lies, no one will believe you any more no matter what you tell them.  You can’t get away with telling lies in a court of justice; what makes people think they can get away with telling lies in the court of public opinion?
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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970
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