Accuracy in Media

President Donald Trump made news when he became the second sitting president to visit the Daytona 500, the annual NASCAR event held in Daytona Beach, Florida. But one New York Times reporter allegedly voiced her disdain for Trump’s visit to the racetrack on social media and the attention Trump received.

Trump was invited as the grand marshal for the Daytona 500 race and took “The Beast” presidential vehicle for a lap around the track. He also gave a speech to the audience, which was also televised for viewers.

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted, “Using the official apparatus of government for what appears to be a political event.” Haberman has been a longstanding critic of Trump since he won the presidency in 2016 and she has a history of favorably covering liberal politicians, like Hillary Clinton.

For example, the WikiLeaks e-mails scandal highlighted her favorable coverage of the Clinton campaign. A leaked internal Clinton campaign e-mail said that Haberman was someone that the Clinton camp “has a very good relationship with” and had a history of being asked to “tee up stories for us before” for the Clinton campaign. Haberman’s track record, and her Daytona 500 tweet, demonstrate her ideological and political stance.

Haberman, when told that Air Force One has been used on the campaign trail, said, “Same vein, notch up. And use of AF1 has gotten attention before in previous presidencies, and should!” However, Haberman failed to mention how Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, also used government vehicles during his re-election campaign in 2012. She also failed to elaborate why Trump’s Daytona 500 visit was a “notch up” from the use of Air Force One.

Conservative critics pointed out Obama also used taxpayer money for political events and public speeches or interviews, such as appearances, baseball games to campaign events. Yet Haberman declined to compare Obama and Trump and how both used government vehicles for political events in their re-election campaigns.

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