There is a lot of back-and-forth among left- and right-leaning media about the accuracy and bias of the other side. But over the weekend, a Washington Post story appeared that so blatantly substituted opinion for fact that Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist devoted an entire piece to debunking it.
Actually, Hemingway focused on one paragraph in the story “Trump’s Ukraine call reveals a president convinced of his own invincibility” by Philip Rucker, Robert Costa and Rachael Bade.
“Trump’s sense of himself as above the law has been reinforced throughout his time in office,” the paragraph read. “As detailed in the Mueller report, he received help from a foreign adversary in 2016 without legal consequence. He sought to thwart the Russia investigation and possibly obstruct justice without consequence. Through the government, he has earned profits for his businesses without consequence. He has blocked Congress’ ability to conduct oversight without consequence.”
Hemingway did not mince words. “Every single assertion of this paragraph isn’t just wrong, but the opposite of right,” she wrote on Monday. “In each sentence, Trump is being blamed for things his political opponents have done.”
As for the first claim, that “Trump’s sense of himself above the law has been reinforced throughout his time in office,” Hemingway writes: “In fact, the main problem during the Trump administration has been the way the self-anointed ‘Resistance’ in the media, unelected bureaucracy and political institutions have treated Trump as if he were below the law.”
Most parties grudgingly accept the results of an election. But “In the case of Donald Trump,” Hemingway wrote, “his campaign was spied on prior to the election by the intelligence services and government apparatus controlled by the opposing party. His transition was undermined by leaks suggesting that the FBI took seriously an uncorroborated and ludicrous collection of tall tales, ‘research’ alter determined to have been secretly funded by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.”
To the Post’s sentence: “As detailed in the Mueller report, he received help from a foreign adversary in 2016 without legal consequences,” Hemingway wrote: “What are Philip Rucker, Bob Costa and Rachel Bade smoking? This was not ‘detailed’ in the Mueller report. This is not even a remotely accurate summation of the report.”
In fact, she wrote, “the report found that the entire basis for the investigation – supposed treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election – had no evidence in support of it. Not only did Trump not conspire with Russia to steal the 2016 election, not a single American was found to have done so.”
To the Post’s sentence: “He sought to thwart the Russia investigation and possibly obstruct justice without consequence,” Hemingway says the reporters “blame Trump for not sitting silently while being falsely accused of being a traitor who had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.”
To the Post’s sentence: “Through the government, he has earned profits for his businesses without consequence,” Hemingway pointed out the Post “has been absolutely desperate to make some kind of financial impropriety case against Trump.” The facts are he operated a global business before becoming president and he put others in charge but didn’t divest.
“It’s a particularly interesting theory given that this entire story is being written relative to the tremendous financial gain the Biden family realized during the Obama presidency, when Joe Biden served as vice-president. … Only the media could be upset that a global business concern continued to be a global business concern while expressing not a whiff of interest in the way that politicians with no business concerns profit during periods of power.”
Hemingway closed: “In other words, every sentence in the Washington Post paragraph is well past the point of bias, or slant, or not being even-handed. These sentences are outright and blatant and unabashed falsehoods in the serve of a particular political party and agenda.
“The Washington Post is singularly and relentlessly devoted to taking down the Republican president. This paragraph shows … reporters are willing to express false statements in service to one political party and in opposition to another.”