Accuracy in Media


CNN and the mainstream media are quick to highlight President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories, but when Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden peddled one, they remained silent.

“Mark my words: I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” Biden told attendees at a virtual fundraiser. CNN explained that Trump cannot change the date of the election by law and that Congress would have to OK a change in the election date. But it was not the first time that Biden suggested that Trump would move the election date, without Biden providing evidence or proof of such a maneuver.

CNN’s headlined Biden’s claim, “Biden says he thinks Trump will try to delay the presidential election.” There was no mention of it being an unproven conspiracy theory in the headline.

CNN acknowledged that Biden and other Democrats have worried that Trump would try it, but the cable news network did not provide any evidence or proof of its own. Neither did it mention “conspiracy theory” a single time in its article. When CNN covered Trump’s conspiracy theory tweets and remarks, the words “conspiracy” or “conspiracy theory” appeared in the headline.

For example, in November 2019, CNN published the headline, “Debunking the Trump-backed conspiracy theory on Ukraine election meddling. Another example is a February 2020 article, headlined, “Trump’s ‘Deep State’ conspiracy theory just took a big hit.” That article included the phrase, “conspiracy theory,” at least once in the body of the article.




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