Tuesday, January 19, 2021

For Trump's Entire Term, Too Many US Newsrooms Were Afraid To Report Honestly And Say "He Lied"

Daniel Dale, CNN, January 19, 2021:
I fact checked every public word Donald Trump said or tweeted for just under four years. The job was unrelenting. The job was unrelentingly weird. . . . And it took over much of my own life.

I started counting Trump's false claims in September 2016, late in his race against Hillary Clinton, when I was the Washington correspondent for my hometown newspaper, Canada's Toronto Star. I started because I was frustrated by a gap in most US media coverage. Trump's incessant dishonesty was barely being mentioned in news copy, let alone treated as what it was: a central story of that campaign. . . .

I thought Trump's deception was bad then. It got much worse. . . . What started as a side project I could handle in a few hours a week started requiring regular all-nighters. By the time I joined CNN in mid-2019, it required a second reporter, Tara Subramaniam. . . .

People kept asking me if the work felt pointless given his imperviousness to correction. It never did. The point was never to change Trump's own behavior. . . .

I never got a good sense of how many Trump supporters were genuinely interested in the work of fact checkers . . . [I]t has never been more obvious that a good chunk of the President's base has either followed him or preceded him down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories

Frankly, I don't know how to reach this hard-core bunch. But we should remember that it is a minority of the country, and we shouldn't let its belief in lies deter us from our mission of truth-telling. Whether we're covering Trump or Biden or any other politician, we need to be straight with our readers and viewers

Media coverage of Trump has improved since the inadequate 2016 coverage prompted me to embark on this project. By 2020, some traditional outlets would at least occasionally use the word "lie" in their Trump coverage; some would at least occasionally write stories focusing on the dishonesty. To be frank, though, I think the coverage of the lying remained inadequate to the end

Too often, coverage of flagrantly dishonest Trump speeches still mentioned the dishonesty in passing or not at all. Too often, coverage still quoted the President's lies without explaining that they were wrong.

Telling people what is true and what is false is a core responsibility of every news reporter and every outlet. Pointing out a lie is objective reporting, not bias. And as interesting as all of this has been for me, fact checking should not be left to the designated fact checker.

Dale identifies the 15 most notable lies of Donald Trump's presidency.

Trying to pick the most notable lies from Donald Trump's presidency is like trying to pick the most notable pieces of junk from the town dump. There's just so much ugly garbage to sift through before you can make a decision. . . .

I've selected the 15 Trump lies that stand out to me from his four years in power -- for their importance, for their egregiousness, for their absurdity, or for what they say about the man.

12 National Guard Members Removed From Inauguration Duties Amid Extremist Threats
Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper, New York Times, January 19, 2021

Twelve National Guard members have been removed from duties related to the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., two of them for expressing anti-government sentiments, Defense Department officials said on Tuesday.

Two of the members were removed over texts and social media posts that made threatening comments toward political officials, Pentagon officials said. They declined to specify the exact nature of the threats.

Perhaps turning a blind eye for years to the tremendous number of white supremacists and other right-wing extremists in the US military and police departments across the country was not such a great idea.

* * *

Are you curious about a A complete list of Trump's Twitter insults from 2015 to 2021? Here are his CNN-related insults:


"Fake News," "Fake News," "Fake News," "Wrong and totally ridiculous," "These people are sick!" "FAKE NEWS," "Fake News," "a phony story," "Fake News," "Fake News," "Ridiculous!" "Fake News @CNN," "headed by complete unknowns," "bad ratings," "has no sources," "Their 'sources' are made up, pure fiction!" "not a factor!!!" "Fake News," "They are totally discredited," "Fake News," "brazen, desperate," "Can't believe how badly @CNN has done," "They are so far below @FoxNews," "Fake News does not pay!!!" "barely registering," "mess!" "Fake News," "doing everything possible to "inflame" the crowd," "they have a very small audience!" "DYING," "Slanted," "bears NO relationship to the Truth or Facts," "merely offshoots of the DNC," "Fake News," "Fake News," "sick losers with VERY bad ratings!" "Can't blame China because they need the cash?" "Fake News," "Fake News," "Fake News @CNN," "The Enemy of the People," "got the story so wrong," "should pay a big price," "Fake News," "FAKE NEWS," "Fake News @CNN," "FAKE NEWS," "Fake News @CNN," "a garbage "network"," "Fake News @CNN," "Fake News!" "Fake News Losers!" "Fake News," "a JOKE," "Fake News," "CORRUPT & FAKE NEWS," "Fake News," "Fake News," "Low Ratings Fake News," "doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible," "Fake Media," "Fake News," "poorly rated Fake News," "Fake News CNN," "Fake News CNN," "watching their Ratings TANK," "have totally tanked," "ratings are terrible," "zero credibility," "Fake News," "dying," "Have Zero credibility," "a ratings disaster," "Lost all credibility," "Fake News," "Fake News CNN," "a virtual fraud," "Low ratings @CNN," "VERY LOW RATINGS @CNN," "Fake News," "bad ratings," "losing a fortune," "bad for the USA spews bad information & Fake News all over the globe," "fraudulent shame," "#FakeNewsCNN," "did a Fake Interview," "WRONG," "So bad!" "sad and pathetic fall," "they've got nothing going," "BAD for America," "keep putting on over and over again people that have no idea what I am all about and yet they speak as experts," "Fake News," "RATINGS HAVE CRASHED," "LOST ALL CREDIBILITY!" "they tried to hide the bad facts & failed," "way down in the ratings," "dead as a door nail(no credibility)," "Fake News (and low ratings)," "ratings challenged," "will do anything possible to see our Country fail," "The Enemy of the People!" "the opposition," "Such lies," "almost everything they were saying was the opposite of the truth," "Fake News!" "ratings along with CNN are WAY DOWN," "The hatred Comcast has is amazing!" "dying in the ratings," "Fake News," "dying in the ratings," "Fake News," "Ratings are WAY DOWN," "so many Fake Stories and Anti-Trump lies," "a proven and long term ratings and beyond disaster," "it rewarded Chris Cuomo with a now unsuccessful prime time slot," "T.V. ratings of CNN & MSNBC tanked last night," "low ratings," "Fake News," "#FakeNews," "Fake News CNN," "#FakeNews," "a proud member of the Opposition Party," "going wild," "Fake News," "doesn't do great in the United States based on ratings," "a powerful voice portraying the United States in an unfair and false way," "Fake Suppression Polls," "false rhetoric," "ratings are so low," "Fake News," "keep purposely and inaccurately reporting that I said the "Media is the Enemy of the People."," "Enemy of the People," "false information not good!" "lowly rated," "go wild and scream," "hatred and extreme bias of me," "working frantically to find their "source." Look hard because it doesn't exist," "Whatever was left of CNN's credibility is now gone!" "caught in a major lie," "Fake News," "Fake," "Fake News," "ratings have suffered gravely," "there is nothing so Fake as CNN," "Fake News CNN," "doing poorly," "Too much hate and inaccurately reported stories - too predictable!" "Fake News," "they are dying in the ratings," "sooooo wrong in their election coverage," "Fake News," "Fake News CNN is dead!" "have typically written false stories," "Fake News," "Fake News," "Just about the most inaccurate," "they haven't changed (get new pollsters)," "Fake News," "knowingly have a sick and biased AGENDA, 'Fakers'," "worried about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast," "have done so much dishonest reporting that they should only be allowed to get awards for fiction!" "you can't get a job at ratings challenged @CNN unless you state that you are totally anti-Trump," "get back to honest reporting!" "Sinclair is far superior to CNN," "Bad ratings," "got scammed when they covered the anti-Trump Russia rally wall-to-wall," "They probably knew it was Fake News but, because it was a rally against me, they pushed it hard anyway," "really dishonest newscasters," "Fake News," "big ratings loser," "Fake News CNN," "Fake News CNN," "I seldom, if ever, watch CNN," "Fake News," "Fake News," "made a vicious and purposeful mistake," "gross incompetence," "a fraud on the American Public," "There are many outlets that are far more trusted," "Fake News," "Their slogan should be CNN, THE LEAST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS!" "we should boycott," "Fake News," "Dealing with them is a total waste of time!" "Fiction writers!" "Fake News," "going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders," "Not fair," "#FakeNews," "Total lie!" "Fake News," "ratings challenged," "#FraudNewsCNN," "#FNN," "I am extremely pleased to see that @CNN has finally been exposed as #FakeNews and garbage journalism. It's about time!" "#FakeNews, #FraudNewsCNN," "phony stories," "FAKE NEWS!" "got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories," "Ratings way down!" "Fake News," "Fake News," "Fake News," "Fake News," "their election polls were a WAY OFF disaster," "has become a joke," "Sad!" "FAKE NEWS," "the enemy of the American People!" "unwatchable," "FAKE NEWS," "FAKE NEWS," "Considering it is CNN, can't imagine it will be great!" "a total meltdown with their FAKE NEWS," "ratings are tanking since election," "credibility will soon be gone!" "they don't have a clue!" "FAKE NEWS!" "still doesn't get it," "They will never learn!" "is so embarrassed by their total (100%) support of Hillary Clinton," "they don't know what to do," "I thought that @CNN would get better after they failed so badly in their support of Hillary Clinton however, since election, they are worse!" "Fraud," "the worst," "fortunately they have bad ratings," "everyone knows they are biased," "Really pathetic," "totally dishonest!" "so negative," "really bad," "bad product," "(Clinton News Network)," "little watched," "just doesn't get it," "ratings are so low - and getting worse," "Boring anti-Trump panelists, mostly losers in life!" "unwatchable," "Their news on me is fiction, a disgrace to the broadcasting industry, an arm of the Clinton campaign," "so disgusting in their bias," "Ratings challenged," "Constant phony reporting," "failing," "turns everyone off," "low ratings," "Totally dishonest," "laughable!" "will soon be the least trusted name in news," "anchors are completely out of touch with everyday people," "SAD!" "panels are so one sided," "Don't watch CNN!" "the worst," "dumb, one-sided panels," "low ratings," "all negative," "Guests are stacked for Crooked Hillary!" "I don't watch," "the Clinton News Network," "people don't like," "few people are watching," "dead network!" "softball questions," "all negative when it comes to me," "I don't watch it anymore," "totally biased," "Clinton News Network," "losing all credibility," "Clinton News Network," "getting more and more biased," "so biased," "Shows are predictable garbage!" "one big lie!" "so negative, getting even worse," "Don't watch CNN!" "I no longer watch," "working hard to make me look as bad as possible," "Very unprofessional," "bad television!" "so negative it is impossible to watch," "Terrible panel," "angry haters," "really one-sided and unfair reporting," "so sad," "dishonest reporting," "paid a fortune for an Iowa Poll, which shows me in first place over Cruz by 13%, 33% to 20% - then doesn't use it," "When will @CNN get some real political talent," "bad reporters," "only says negative," "totally one-sided and biased against me that it is becoming boring," "ratings starved," "does not cover me accurately," "why can't they get it right," "just plain dumb!"

* * *

On the day of the Capitol insurrection, Mike Lindell of MyPillow offered a "FightforTrump" discount code. Lindell has also used the discount code "qanon".

Five Years Too Late

No comments: