Accuracy in Media

President Trump said he would have gone into the high school in Florida while a man was shooting students two weeks ago, even if he had no gun. The mainstream media say otherwise.

The Washington Post’s headline read, “Trump said he would charge a gunman. Here’s what he’s actually done in the face of danger.”

Trump did not say anything about charging a gunman, rather, he said, “The way they [the police in Broward County, Fla.] performed was frankly disgusting.

“I really believe I’d run, even if I didn’t have a weapon.”

The question is about bravery, and who would risk his life to save others in the face of such an attack. But the Post treated the situation differnetly.

“Trump has no background in law enforcement or the military, and the boastful nature of the statement – the president was nowhere near the shooting when it occurred – immediately raised questions about his intent.”

It then suggested the president had been cowardly when he found himself under direct threat. Not even the facts presented in the story support that premise.

“The most frightened that Trump has ever seemed in public was perhaps a moment during a campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio, in March 2016,” the Post reported. “The then-candidate was in the midst of speaking about manufacturing when a man hopped the barrier behind him and rushed the stage. Trump stopped speaking, looked nervously behind him and grabbed and started to duck behind the lectern.”

In the video, Trump does stop speaking, and Secret Service officers rush to cover him. But after a moment to determine where the sound is coming from, he is anything but reluctant. He does not use the lectern as a shield. He grabs it, finds the sound, then gets into what appears to be a fighting position toward it.

“I was ready for him,” Trump said. “But it’s much easier if the cops do it.”

The Post retold an instance during a Nevada Trump event during which Trump was rushed off the stage after someone in the audience yelled “gun.” No weapon was found.

The only time caught on tape in which Trump does appear uncomfortable is during a photo shoot for a Time magazine feature after the then-candidate had finished third behind Angela Merkel and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for its person of the year issue, in which Trump was to pose with an eagle. The eagle did not behave, and some of its sudden movements appeared to disturb Trump.

The Post’s columnists have taken to referring to Trump as Cadet Bone Spurs because he got a deferment from service during the Vietnam War because of bone spurs in his feet.

Trump actually got five deferments, but only one was for the bone spurs – the rest were because he was a student in college at the time, a common reason for deferment. He also had a high draft number and was unlikely to be drafted, even without the deferments.

The bone spurs prevented him from serving, the Post reported, but “the problem was not severe enough to prevent him from playing sports such as football, tennis and golf as a young man.” 

It also implies Trump is a coward because he is a germaphobe who does not handle the sight of blood well, that he has yet to visit troops in a war zone as have other presidents and that he did not visit the DMZ while in South Korea, as other presidents have done.

But the Post had to point out 1968, the year Trump graduated from the Wharton School of Business at Penn, was the bloodiest for American troops in the war. 

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