Accuracy in Media


By now, it has become the print equivalent of B roll – the stock footage TV news shows to illustrate events.

Does a man run over a woman at a protest in Charlottesville? That’s President Trump’s fault for not sufficiently condemning racism beforehand.

A man shoots up a synagogue in Pittsburgh to punish liberals for advocating for open-borders policies … that’s President Trump’s fault for attacking George Soros, liberal financier and convicted insider trader, because Soros is Jewish, Trump attacked him and Trump, whose daughter, son-in-law/trusted adviser are Jewish, is thus anti-Semitic.

Last week, a man shoots up two mosques in New Zealand, and it is again Trump’s fault because he has not condemned racism in sufficient frequency or volume to suit mainstream media.

The president did react promptly and forcefully. “My warmest sympathy and best wishes go out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques,” he tweeted. “49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!”

Sarah Sanders, his press secretary, followed with a statement that said, “We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate.”

But that was not enough for the mainstream media.

“The president has a long history of disparaging Muslims and other minorities, while simultaneously refusing to forcefully condemn white supremacy and violent nationalism,” Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey wrote.

A few paragraphs earlier, they wrote: “Trump’s tepid response to the New Zealand massacre has highlighted the president’s fraught and combative relationship with Islam and Muslims, which dates back at least to his campaign. Throughout his presidential bid and his presidency, Trump has made statements and enacted policies that many Muslim Americans and others find offensive and upsetting at best – and dangerous and Islamophobic at worst.”

They led the story with a list of what the reporters considered appropriate responses that Trump did not give.

“After a gunman left 50 dead in an anti-Muslim massacre at two mosques in New Zealand, President Trump did not condemn the white supremacy extolled by the alleged shooter, nor did he express explicit sympathy with Muslims around the globe,” Parker and Dawsey wrote.

“Instead, Trump spent the days that followed on the offensive – averaging just over a tweet per hour through the weekend as he decried various subjects, from unflattering television coverage to the late Republican senator John McCain. One of his few public defenders, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, took to the airwaves with an unusual declaration that ‘the president is not a white supremacist.’”

Slate struck a similar tone in “Trump Has Retweeted at Least Four White Nationalist Accounts That Were Later Suspended” by Ben Mathis-Lilley.

A manifesto allegedly published by the suspect indicates he “believes that the white race and Western civilization are under threat from immigration, particularly Muslim immigration,” Mathis-Lilley wrote. “In the wake of the attack, it’s been pointed out that this belief about ‘the West’ is shared by some of Donald Trump’s biggest online supporters and has been espoused to varying degrees of explicitness by Trump and his advisers themselves.”

Trump tweeted on Monday that it’s “So Ridiculous” to blame him for the mosque killings, Mathis-Lilley wrote. “While it may be unfair to blame even the worst politicians for many racial acts of terror, in Trump’s case, his engagement with online extremists and promotion of their white-nationalist talking points does make the connection stronger.”

Mathis-Lilley found that a number of the accounts Trump and Donald Trump Jr. have retweeted since his presidential campaign began have been suspended by Twitter. “You can’t tell from looking at a suspended account why it was shut down, but ‘abusive behavior’ is one of the things that you can get kicked off for,” Mathis-Lilley wrote.




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