Accuracy in Media

In a new piece, HuffPost twists a quote between former President Donald Trump, deliberately crossing the line in meaning between “children” and “my children. ”

Trump gave a short interview to the Washington Examiner in which he complained that those pursuing him were also after his children. This is obviously what was meant:  “It’s a very unfair situation for my children,” “commission wants his children to appear,” “Trump relied on his children.”

The whole background to this is his complaint of the pursuit of his children. At one point, Trump says, “And they don’t care. They’ll go after children,” No one can read the rest of it and think that he’s claiming the authorities pursuing him are going to grab kids off the street. There is, as there so often is in reported speech, a missing word in there: the “my” before children.

Except that’s not how HuffPost decides to read it. They in fact go with this:

“‘And they don’t care. They’ll go after children.’

“Ivanka Trump is not a child. She is, in fact, a 40-year-old adult woman with children of her own.”

No, that’s not how you do journalism. It is how you play political attack dog, but it’s not how you do journalism.

HuffPost is in the top 30 of media news sites, it gains more than 70 million views a month. It may not be quite the force it once was, but is it still a considerable influence in setting the agenda for the young.

Both we and their regular readers deserve better from this from HuffPost. Deliberate misrepresentation of an interview or a quote like this is simply not good journalistic behavior.

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