Accuracy in Media

Mainstream media has accused an umpire for Major League Baseball of threatening to incite a civil war if President Donald Trump is impeached.

According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, Rob Drake, who has been a full-time umpire since 2010, is being investigated by MLB over a tweet on Tuesday that read: “I will be buying an AR-15 tomorrow, because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL [sic] WAR!!! #MAGA2020.”

Drake deleted the tweet soon after he posted it, but he left standing an earlier tweet that read: “You can’t do an impeachment inquiry from the basement of Capitol Hill without even a vote! What’s going on in this country?”

Drake changed the privacy settings on his account later Tuesday, then deleted the entire account on Wednesday, according to Passan.

Drake clearly is not promising to start a civil war. He is saying he plans to buy a weapon because he believes one will be imminent. But that’s not how mainstream media framed it.

“’Buying an AR-15’: MLB probes ump who reportedly threatened civil war over impeachment,” read the headline on Katie Shepherd’s story at the Washington Post. Shepherd called the imbroglio “the second major off-the-field scandal to hit MLB during its biggest showcase of the year” – referring to a comment by a Houston Astros executive about one of the team’s pitchers who had been accused of domestic violence.

At USA Today, the headline read: “Major League Baseball investigating umpire Rob Drake’s tweet calling for civil war if Trump is impeached.” Its story, by Jesse Yomtov, pointed out Drake earlier had sent other tweets supporting President Trump. In one, a previous tweeter had asked “What do you think is the most important way that #TrumpOutdidObama?” Drake responded, “Being born in the United States!”

He also called Hillary Clinton a “f—ing liar” in a tweet about Benghazi.

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