Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post followed a significant moment in the Trump administration with a story of unnamed advisers criticizing the move by their boss and touting the left-wing line.

On Wednesday, after President Trump announced the U.S. was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and beginning the process of moving the U.S. embassy there, the Post published a story entitled, “Trump had for months been determined to move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.”

The story begins with Trump approaching Alan Dershowitz at Mar-a-Lago to discuss the Middle East.

“When Trump questioned Dershowitz, a confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, about the region, the president seemed certain about one thing: where he stood on the U.S. Embassy in Israel.”

Trump promised repeatedly during the campaign he would move the embassy, and, unlike the last four Republicans to run for president, he intended to keep the promise.

In the week leading up to the announcement “reversing decades of U.S. policy” Trump heard from supporters and opponents of the move inside and outside the White House.

Virtually all stories from the mainstream media have included some form of the phrase “reversing decades of U.S. policy,” but that is not true.

Congress passed a law in 1995, shortly after Republicans took over the House of Representatives, that called for moving the embassy to Jerusalem as soon as possible unless the president signed a waiver saying the move would be too big a risk to national security.

The president must sign the waiver every six months. Trump reluctantly signed a waiver over the summer because his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who had just begun a peace effort in the Middle East, asked him to hold off to see if progress could be made. With little along those lines to report, Trump decided enough was enough.

“Today,” Trump said, “I am delivering.”

These stories also nearly all include some reference to the fact this honors a campaign pledge – and to cast that notion in a bad light. This was no exception.

“The decisions to shake off warnings from senior officials such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and align himself instead with prominent proponents of the move, including Vice President Pence and major donor Sheldon Adelson, underscored the president’s determination to break with past policy (again, no) and keep a key campaign pledge – despite the potential risks to U.S. interests in the region and the goal of Middle East peace.”

Later, the Post took another shot at Trump’s insistence on delivering on his campaign promises. “Pence, who is to visit Israel this month, told Trump that his base would love the decision, something the president liked to hear,” the story read, again citing unnamed sources.

Anonymous sources also insisted Secretary of Defense James Mattis strongly opposed the move, and Tillerson, “mindful of the death of four Americans in militant attacks in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012, ‘pushed back vocally’” because the president’s approach “could unleash a dangerous chain reaction across the region.”

But a Tillerson adviser, R.C. Hammond, went on the record saying Mattis and Tillerson asked only for time to evaluate U.S. outposts and fortify them if necessary.

“It’s insane,” an unnamed Trump confidant said. “We’re all resistant. He doesn’t realize what all he could trigger by doing this.” 

Another unnamed source said, “The decision wasn’t driven by the peace process. The decision was driven by his campaign promise.”

This at least has the merit of being correct. The president knows the peace process has little to report in the way of progress. Campaign promises, on the other hand, seem to actually mean something to him.

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  • missieb2000

    And they are working on our wall. God Bless President Trump!

  • John Wirts

    WaPo looking for more anonymous sources? Leaking information with out identifyible sources, should result in slander and liable charges for the reporter and the paper.

  • samo war
  • TED

    First of all, Trump does an absolutely excellent job of trashing himself!
    Beyond that … every other little bit helps!

    And, obviously (and more so now than ever before), “anonymous sources” choose to remain anonymous to avoid being trashed themselves (especially by Trump) … as the women have been who have charged Trump with sexual harassment and Roy Moore with pedophilia!

    AIM trashes who it doesn’t like … Wapo trashes who it doesn’t like. The only difference is that Wapo probably conmes closer to reflecting the opinions of a majority of Americans than does AIM!

  • Larry

    The majority of Americans were for the VN War back in 1964. What does that say about the intelligence level of the majority of Americans?

  • Larry

    Thank Goodness for President Trump. Finally we have a President who does the right thing and actually has balls.

  • John Sprinklebumj

    With the NYT, WaPo and other left-leaning media sources, the best assumption is that their articles are not always factual, and should be assumed not true, until proven otherwise. Also, these articles are NOT what I would call journalism, they are best put in the opinion section, just like editorials. If readers and watchers of these media see that around 91% of the articles are anti-Trump, they have and incredible grasp of the obvious. :-). Moreover Trump gets little to no credit for his good job, despite the “help” he is given.

  • John Sprinklebumj

    WaPo and the NYT are fit for the garbage can. They are mostly leftist tabloid types. I thought about using the NYT to line the bottom of my bird cage. I found I could not do this, because my bird was allergic to garbage. WaPo does not reflect the opinions of most Trump voters. At least voters made the right choice between a serial liar and crook, with a serial sexual predator husband,, and voted instead for the clown on the white horse, who rode in and tried to save our constitutional republic. AIM trashed trash reporting and they are spot on right.