Get Trump - Journalist's Favorite Game

© 2018 Jim Spence -  Often on this site I have applauded award winning investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s efforts to expose what has happened to journalism. In a recent column she documented what she called, "50 Notable Mistakes and Missteps in Major Media Reporting on Donald Trump," which is the source for these twenty-six incidents below.
In my previous column, I discussed why we don’t watch the “news” at our house anymore. The reason is the complete abandonment of journalistic principles by most media outlets. Notice how often the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Newsweek, NBC News, and the Associated Press (AP) are listed as egregious violators. These incidents listed below are merely the tip of the iceberg:
On October 1, 2016, the New York Times and other pro-Democrat media outlets widely suggested or implied that Trump had not paid income taxes for 18 years. Later, tax return pages leaked to MSNBC showed that Trump actually paid a higher rate than Democrats Bernie Sanders and President Obama. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
On October 18, 2016, in a Washington Post piece that was NOT labelled opinion or analysis, Stuart Rothenberg reported that Trump’s path to an electoral college victory was “nonexistent.” Not only was this analysis, it was terrible analysis.
On November 9, 2016, early on election night, the Detroit Free Press called the state of Michigan for Hillary Clinton. Ummmm…..Donald Trump actually won Michigan. Apparently the city is not the only thing bankrupt in Detroit.
January 20, 2017, CNN claimed Nancy Sinatra was “not happy” at her father’s song being used at Trump’s inauguration. Sinatra responded, “That’s not true. I never said that. Why do you lie, CNN?…Actually I’m wishing him the best.” This “get Trump” story was absolutely false
On January 20, 2017, the very day Donald Trump was inaugurated, Zeke Miller of TIME reported that President Trump had removed the bust statue of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. The news went viral. This “get Trump” story by pinning the racist tag on him was absolutely false.
January 28, 2017, CNBC’s John Harwood reported the Justice Department “had no input” on Trump’s immigration executive order. After a colleague contradicted Harwood’s report, he amended it to reflect that Justice Department lawyers reportedly had reviewed Trump’s order. Harwood has been a partisan hack his entire career. His “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
On February 2, 2017, TMZ reported Trump changed the name of “Black History Month” to “African American History Month,” implying the change was untoward or racist. In fact, Presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton had all previously called Black History month “African American History” month. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
On June 4, 2017, NBC News reported in a Tweet that Russian President Vladimir Putin told TV host Megan Kelly that he had compromising information about Trump. Actually, Putin said the opposite: that he did not have compromising information on Trump. Funny how that got all messed up and ass-backwards. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
June 6, 2017, CNN’s Gloria Borger, Eric Lichtblau, Jake Tapper and Brian Rokus; and ABC’s Justin Fishel and Jonathan Karl reported that James Comey was going to refute Donald Trump’s claim that Comey told Trump three times he was not under investigation. Instead, Comey did the opposite and confirmed Trump’s claim. Each of these outlets reported just the opposite of the truth. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
On June 22, 2017, CNN’s Thomas Frank reported that Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.” The report was later retracted. Frank and two other CNN employees resigned in the fallout. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
On December 2, 2017, ABC News’ Brian Ross reported that former Trump official Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was going to testify that candidate Trump had directed him to contact “the Russians.” Even though such contact would not be in of itself a violation of law, the news was treated as an explosive indictment of Trump in the Russia collusion narrative, and the stock market fell on the news. ABC later corrected the report to reflect that Trump had already been elected when he reportedly asked Flynn to contact the Russians about working together to fight ISIS and other issues. Ross was suspended but not fired for such an ethical breach. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
July 6, 2017, Newsweek’s Chris Riotta and others reported that Poland’s First Lady had refused to shake Trump’s hand. Newsweek’s later “update” reflected that the First Lady had shaken Trump’s hand after all, as clearly seen on the full video. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
August 31, 2017, NBC News’ Ken Dilinian and Carol Lee reported that a Trump official’s notes about a meeting with a Russian lawyer included the word “donation,” as if there were discussions about suspicious campaign contributions. NBC later corrected the report to reflect that the word “donation” didn’t appear, but still claimed the word “donor” did. Later, Politico reported that the word “donor” wasn’t in the notes, either. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
September. 5, 2017, CNN’s Chris Cillizza and other news outlets declared Trump “lied” when he stated that Trump Tower had been wiretapped, although there’s no way any reporter independently knew the truth of the matter—only what intel officials claimed. It later turned out there were numerous wiretaps involving Trump Tower, including a meeting of Trump officials with a foreign dignitary. At least two Trump associates who had offices in or frequented Trump Tower were also wiretapped.
On November 6, 2017, CNN edited a video that made it appear although Trump impatiently dumped a box of fish food into the water while feeding fish at Japan’s palace. The New York Daily News, the Guardian and others wrote stories implying Trump was gauche and impetuous. The full video showed that Trump had simply followed the lead of Japan’s Prime Minister. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
November 29, 2017, Newsweek’s Chris Riotta claimed Ivanka Trump “plagiarized” one of her own speeches. In fact, plagiarizing one’s own work is impossible since plagiarism is when a writer steals someone else’s work and passes it off as his own. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
December 5, 2017, Bloomberg’s Steven Arons and the Wall Street Journal’s Jenny Strasburg reported the blockbuster that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had subpoenaed Trump’s bank records. It wasn’t true. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
December 8, 2017, CNN’s Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb reported that Donald Trump Jr. conspired with WikiLeaks in advance of the publication of damaging Democrat party and Clinton campaign emails. Many other publications followed suit. They had the date wrong: WikiLeaks and Trump Junior were in contact after the emails were published. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
On March 8, 2018, The New York Times’ Jan Rosen reported on a hypothetical family whose tax bill would rise nearly $4,000 under Trump’s tax plan. It turns out the calculations were off: the couple’s taxes would go actually go down $43; not up $4,000. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
On March 13, 2018, The New York Times’ Adam Goldman, NBC’s Noreen O’Donnell and AP’s Deb Riechmann reported that Trump’s pick for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, had waterboarded a particular Islamic extremist terrorist dozens of time at a secret prison; and that she had mocked his suffering. In fact, Haspel wasn’t assigned to the prison until after the detainee left. ProPublica originally reported the incorrect details in Feb. 2017. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
On March 15, 2018, AP’s Michael Biesecker, Jake Pearson and Jeff Horwitz reported that a Trump advisory board official had been a Miss America contestant and had killed a black rhino. She actually was a Mrs. America contestant and had shot a nonlethal tranquilizer dart at a white rhino. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
On April 1, 2018 AP’s Nicholas Riccardi reported that the Trump administration had ended a program to admit foreign entrepreneurs. It wasn’t true. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
May 3, 2018, NBC’s Tom Winter reported that the government had wiretapped Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen. NBC later corrected the story after three senior U.S. officials said there was no wiretap. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
May 7, 2018, CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger reported that Trump’s personal lawyer, Cohen, paid $1 million in fines related to unauthorized cars in his taxi business, had been barred from managing taxi medallions, had transferred $60 million offshore to avoid paying debts, and is awaiting trial on charges of failing to pay millions in taxes. A later correction stated that none of that was true. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
On May 16, 2018, The New York Times’ Julie Hirschfeld Davis, AP, CNN’s Oliver Darcy and others excerpted a Trump comment as if he had referred to immigrants or illegal immigrants generally as “animals.” Most outlets corrected their reports later to note that Trump had specifically referred to members of the murderous criminal gang MS-13. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
On May 28, 2018, The New York Times’ Magazine editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein and CNN’s Hadas Gold shared a story with photos of immigrant children in cages as if they were new photos taken under the Trump administration. The article and photos were actually taken in 2014 under the Obama administration. This “get Trump” story was absolutely false.
We don’t watch the news because it isn’t news. It is cheap, manipulative, propaganda dressed up as "news" to influence elections. Anyone watching the "news" to stay "informed" is becoming increasingly uninformed.