Accuracy in Media

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is a Democratic Party presidential candidate for the 2020 election, published a knee-jerk reaction after a commercial aircraft crashed in Iran and killed all of the people aboard.

Buttigieg tweeted a statement after the news broke and blamed the Trump administration’s aggressive approach to Iran for causing the tragedy.

“Innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat,” Buttigieg wrote. “My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all 176 souls lost aboard this flight.”

The Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 crashed in Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.

The Iranian government blamed mechanical failures and human error for three days, while U.S. and other Western intelligence agencies said it was an Iranian surface-to-air missile that destroyed the plane. After three days of denial, Iran admitted that an unnamed operator authorized the firing of a missile which hit the aircraft and apologized for the grave error.

Buttigieg was shown to have made an incorrect assumption in blaming the Trump administration for the tragedy. The only truth behind his statement is that a tragedy did occur, in which 176 individuals lost their lives. He was wrong to blame the crash on the Trump administration’s “unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat.” Buttigieg should have blamed Iran’s military for having an active trigger finger that fired off the missile, not the Trump administration, or he could have taken the moral high ground and condemned the loss of lives without mixing it with politics.

So far, Buttigieg has not deleted or retracted his statement, and no media outlet has fact-checked his erroneous statement. The media published fact-checks within days, if not hours, of any statement which Trump makes. Instead, the media chose to let the false allegation slide without a rebuttal or fact-check. Ultimately, the mainstream media failed the American public, particularly voters, who are starting to pay attention to the 2020 race as primaries begin in a few weeks in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire.




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