Accuracy in Media

The mainstream and alternative media criticize the Trump administration over many of President Trump’s tweets, public statements, answers to the press, policy proposals, and his campaign style. BuzzFeed News took issue with Trump’s Iowa rally held this week, which was less than a week before the Democratic Party’s Iowa caucuses. In a preview of things to come, the Trump campaign will also send at least 80 surrogates to Iowa to make the case to re-elect Trump this fall in the 2020 election.

BuzzFeed News wrote, “Trump is Flooding Iowa Because He Can’t Not Be The Center of Attention,” which headline could imply that Trump’s alleged narcissism and arrogance would not allow Democratic candidates from taking the “center of attention” in politics. Not only was the headline biased and implied narcissism, but it added that Trump’s campaign strategy is “also a means of trying to give the president what he wants: all the attention on himself.”

The article reported that many of his surrogates will flood the state on the caucus day for the Democratic Party, which is February 3. Some of the notable surrogates going to Iowa are:

  • Sons Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump,
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle,
  • Lara Trump,
  • Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos,
  • Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross,
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson,
  • Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney,
  • MyPillow inventor Mike Lindell,
  • Evangelical leader Jerry Falwell, Jr.,
  • Representatives Liz Cheney (R-Wy.), Jim Jordan (R-Oh.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.), and Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).

BuzzFeed News’s claims about Trump’s narcissism continued and said, “The focus on Iowa is just as much about pleasing the president as it is about flexing the muscles of the campaign.” The article claimed that Trump “personally loathe[s] to lose any of the spotlight” and that this week’s Iowa rally “will be an attempt to try to ensure that Democrats can’t steal the day.” It then criticized Trump for “working to wiggle his way into the Democratic primary” by criticizing members of the Democratic Party and the current presidential candidate field.

The news outlet never sourced their claims that Trump is a narcissist and did not shy away from the implications that the outlet was unbiased when it comes to Trump and his presidency. It was a blatant violation of journalistic ethics of neutrality and fairness by informing readers of Trump’s alleged narcissism, without presenting a counterargument or direct quotes or sources. BuzzFeed News’s criticism about Trump’s alleged interference in the Democratic Party primaries was also misguided, since the Democratic Party was already divided on which presidential candidate to back and whether to reconcile the moderate and progressive wings of the party.

Instead of contributing to the reader’s knowledge, BuzzFeed News published an article full of conjecture and insinuation about Trump’s alleged narcissistic personality without providing evidence for such claims. It fell far short of unbiased, ethical journalism, and thus BuzzFeed News failed its readers.

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