Accuracy in Media

Mainstream media outlets want social media platforms to join them in declaring nearly every utterance of President Donald Trump to be a lie and to thus silence him by banning him from the platforms.

“Twitter Is Giving Trump ‘Special Treatment’ Despite New Rules For World Leaders, Says Free Speech Expert,” reads the headline on David Brennan’s story on Newsweek.

Twitter announced new guidelines, Brennan wrote, “following demands for the platform to take action against President Donald Trump, who has been accused of inciting violence via his belligerent online behavior.”

This followed the letter from Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a Democrat candidate for president, to Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, demanding he ban Trump’s account based on six tweets she contends violate Twitter’s rules against engaging in “targeted harassment of someone or incit[ing] other people to do so.”

The tweets dealt with, among other things, Trump calling Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a traitor and calling for investigation into the dealings between Joe Biden, another Democrat presidential candidate, Biden’s son, Hunter, who appears to have gotten a series of sweetheart jobs and deals from those seeking to curry favor with the U.S.

“And though Trump has been accused of stochastic terrorism – using rhetoric to inspire politically motivated violence – the president has not directly called for direct terrorist action in Twitter,” Brennan wrote.

Facebook, which ran afoul of the media for refusing to take down a Trump ad about Biden and his son and their dealings in Ukraine, also is now defending an updated ad policy.

“Facebook’s rationale for allowing lies in political ads makes no sense,” wrote Salon in a headline over Nicole Karlis’ speech. “Facebook says one’s ads cannot spread falsehoods, unless you’re among a specific subset of politicians. Wait, what?” read the subhead.

It focused on an ad designed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., yet another Democrat candidate for president, in which she said: “Breaking news: Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election. You’re probably shocked, and you might be thinking ‘how could this possibly be true?’ Well, it’s not (Sorry). But what Zuckerberg has done is given Donald Trump free reign to lie on his platform – and they to pay Facebook gobs of money to push out their lies to American voters.”

Facebook said politicians can lie in ads but is removing some for other reasons, wrote Ryan Mac and Zahra Hirji of BuzzFeed, who then declared any accusation of wrongdoing by the Bidens involving Ukraine to be untrue.

“The advertisement inspired scrutiny of Facebook’s political ad policies by prominently featuring a lie about Biden and his son, Hunter,” Mac and Hirji wrote. “In variations of the ad’s text and the associated video – which also appeared on YouTube and Twitter – the Trump campaign falsely claimed Biden offered $1 billion to Ukrainian officials to end an investigation of a company with connections to his son.”

It actually claimed Biden threatened to withhold a U.S. aid package of $1 billion if Ukraine did fire a prosecutor who was looking into corruption surrounding the company for which Hunter Biden worked.

The New York Times recounts the drama in its story, “Facebook’s Hands-Off Approach to Political Speech Gets Impeachment Test” by Cecilia Kang. But it injects a comment that shows its interest in internet editing relates to protecting Democrat candidates.

“There is no evidence that Mr. Biden, during his time as vice president, pushed for the dismissal of the Ukrainian prosecutor general to help his son Hunter Biden.” The Times wrote falsely. “The former vice president, along with other members of the Obama administration and other international leaders, pushed for the removal of the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, because of accusations he ignored corruption.”

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