Accuracy in Media

The mainstream media unanimously called a series of tweets by President Donald Trump “racist” after they criticized several female Democratic lawmakers and urged them to “go back” to their countries of origin. But, in a recent article by the Associated Press, the waters are muddied on whether Trump is a racist, or says inflammatory things which the media claims are racist.

The state of Virginia is holding weekend ceremonies in Tidewater, Virginia, to mark the four-hundred-year anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the Virginia colony. The Associated Press article painted a gloomy picture, opening with the following paragraphs:

“Four hundred years after American slavery and democratic self-rule were born almost simultaneously in what became the state of Virginia, ceremonies will mark the arrival of enslaved Africans in the mid-Atlantic colony and seek healing from the legacy of bondage that still haunts the nation.”

“Yet the weekend ceremonies in Tidewater Virginia will unfold against the backdrop of rising white nationalism across the country, racist tweets by President Donald Trump, and a lingering scandal surrounding the state’s governor and a blackface photo.”

The Associated Press gave details on what the ceremonies will entail and then pivoted back to the narrative that the president is racist. The article cited the aforementioned tweet which told congresswomen to return to their countries of origin and another that criticized Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings.

But, the contradictory part of the piece came next when the Associated Press remarked, “Yet Trump also signed into law the “400 Years of African-American History Commission Act,” requiring a panel to develop programs that acknowledge the Africans’ arrival and slavery’s impact.” Meaning, the media’s allegations of racism against the president does not hold up if the same president encouraged education about the history of slavery instead of burying said history.

The Associated Press spent much of the article portraying the president as racist, but could not say why an allegedly racist president would sign into law an act to develop educational programs about the history of slavery. Instead of expending energy and dozens of words, the Associated Press and media at large should focus on the facts, not conjecture or opinion.

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