Accuracy in Media


There are videos all over the Internet of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stumbling over words (for example, this one and this one) losing her train of thought or otherwise speaking incoherently in public.

Mainstream media has portrayed Pelosi differently — pieces say she is still sharp as she’s ever been, and has become an invaluable tool when it comes to sticking it to President Trump.

Time built a case around a few insults and one-liners that may have delighted followers but made little impact on the debate.

“As Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is skilled at counting votes, fundraising and keeping her caucus in line,” wrote Time’s Ryan Teague Beckwith under “How Nancy Pelosi Gets Under Donald Trump’s Skin.” “But she has an underappreciated talent that may prove helpful in the Trump era, especially as the government shutdown enters its second week: Snarking.”

Her public comments can be “overlong” at times, Beckwith wrote. “But when she goes in for the kill, she’s quite effective at one-line jabs, and she seems to know how to hit back at Trump.”

The story pointed to her saying the border wall was “like a manhood thing for him,” and saying his wall plans had been scaled back from a sizable concrete barrier to a “beaded curtain.”  

It then pointed to another statement, which Pelosi stumbled over in real time: “Maybe he thinks if government’s shut down, he can golf more comfortably. That’s not how it works.”

In fact, Pelosi decamped to golfing weather in Hawaii and Trump who stayed in the White House throughout the Christmas and New Year’s holiday breaks ready to negotiate an end to the government shutdown.

This led to another Pelosi zinger, according to Time. When Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway criticized the speaker for abandoning negotiations over wall funding for a long vacation in Hawaii, saying “less hula, more moola,” Pelosi “fired back,” Time wrote.

“The president may not know this, but Hawaii is part of the United States of America; maybe he didn’t realize that,” Pelosi said. “That’s why he said Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States when he was born in Hawaii.”

But Trump contended proof dug up by Sidney Blumenthal, a Hillary Clinton confidant, at the behest of the Clintons, cast doubt on whether Obama was born in Hawaii and suggested he may have been born in Kenya.

The Time piece posited  that it has not gone hard enough on the president, even though media analyses continue to say more than 90 percent of their coverage of the president and his administration is negative.

“The snarky rejoinders and barbed quips give Trump what he’s lacked during his first two years in office: an effective foil,” Beckwith wrote. “Since Pelosi is now third in line to the presidency, she’s a singular figure whose responses are more likely to be quoted than when Trump faced Democrats who were out of power. That’s helpful for Democrats looking to counter Trump’s constant messaging.”

Pelosi’s needling was credited with getting Trump into a position where he “blundered, bragging that he would proudly own a government shutdown,” Beckwith wrote.

Polls do not show it was a blunder. In fact, a poll last month reported on in the Washington Times found support for a wall along the southwest American border to have reached record levels.




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