Accuracy in Media

The mainstream media is not impartial when it comes to President Donald Trump, as the media’s relationship with the president can be described as hostile or combative. In a recent Politico article, the president complained that the mainstream media ignored his role in passing criminal justice reform into law.

The article, headlined, “Trump snubs Jared Kushner’s signature accomplishment,” detailed the president’s complaints about how his criminal justice reform efforts were portrayed in the mainstream media and by the Democratic Party. The president resisted advice from his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to make the passage of the First Step Act as a part of his 2020 re-election campaign.

As Politico correctly pointed out, Trump was able to pass “a sweeping criminal justice reform bill that eluded administrations and has earned celebrity support.” But, the media has not consistently highlighted Trump’s support which pushed the proposed bill to the finish line. Although the media did report on how Trump signed the bill into law last year, it has remained mostly silent during the 2020 campaign cycle.

For example, Politico said that during an NBC town hall, host Lester Holt “omitted any mention of Trump’s role in advancing criminal justice reform during a televised town hall on the network.” Politico quoted a White House source who told the news outlet that “the president felt the televised special was disingenuous” and instead heaped praise on singer John Legend for criminal justice activism.

Also, during a Democratic Party primary debate, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) praised his own bipartisan work in pushing the First Step Act to the finish line and briefly mentioned President Trump’s contribution to it. However, that comment and Trump’s policy achievement was mostly ignored by the media hosts in that specific debate.

Politico confirmed Trump’s claim that the media ignored his criminal justice reform law and his contributions to getting it through Congress, which solidified Trump’s claim and also bolstered the president’s instinct to not make criminal justice reform a centerpiece of his re-election campaign.

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