Accuracy in Media

On Monday, President Trump gave a speech to the Boy Scouts at the National Jamboree in West Virginia. The sitting U.S. president also serves as the honorary president of the Boy Scouts, and presidents have spoken at Boy Scout jamborees for decades.

The 40,000 boys in attendance appeared to love President Trump and his speech, erupting into applause and chants of “USA” numerous times throughout his speech.

That was in contrast to their reaction in 2010, when former President Obama declined to attend the event on the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts. Instead, the president appeared on the The View and went to several fundraisers.

He did tape a 90-second message for the Scouts, which was played at the National Jamboree. But many scouts in the crowd booed at the site of Obama on the large TV screen. “I was there. We weren’t mad because it was Obama. We felt snubbed he would miss such an important event…he went on the View rather than be with us” commented one person on YouTube who claimed to be at the event. The three presidents before Obama all attended the National Jamboree.

Instead of questioning President Obama’s decision to bypass the jamboree, CNN released a hit piece on the Boy Scouts of America, saying “On the face of it booing would seem to go against some of the 12 tenets of Boy Scout law. A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind. Wait a minute … courteous and kind?”

Of course, it not only defended the speech Obama refused to give, it criticized the speech Trump did deliver, calling it “hyper-partisan” and publishing a list of 29 of its most “cringe worthy” lines. CNN did not mention that 23 of those lines drew extended applause from the crowd.

CNN considered it “cringe-worthy” that Trump pointed out more than 10 of his advisers were Boy Scouts. “Many of my top advisers in the White House were Scouts,” President Trump said. “Ten members of my Cabinet were Scouts. Can you believe that? Ten.”

It also considered it “cringe-worthy” when the president made reference to Levittowns – pre-planned communities his father helped build in the late-1940s and early ‘50s. “This is my favorite part of the entire Trump speech. He regales a crowd of kids — most of whom are teenagers — about life in New York in the post-World War II age. Nothing like knowing your audience!” the CNN analysis said.

Clearly, President Trump did know his audience because, when he mentioned Levittowns, the crowd applauded. The scouts also applauded when the president talked about how the nation relies on them and their dedication.

“When natural disaster strikes, when people face hardship, when the beauty and glory of our outdoor spaces must be restored and taken care of, America turns to the Boy Scouts because we know that the Boy Scouts never ever, ever let us down.”

But you wouldn’t know President Trump said that if you listened only to CNN’s coverage. In fact, you would have missed out on much more.

It’s unlikely many boys in the crowd cared about the exact wording of the president’s speech or even what party he belongs to. What they do care about is that he took the time to actually show up and speak to the scouts. They’ll always appreciate that – no matter who is president.

Photo by Mike Licht,

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