Blasting Democrats and the American media as fake news is something that’s almost an everyday occurrence for President Donald Trump.
But now, a major U.S. newspaper is getting jumping on the bus.
The editorial board of the Boston Herald published a piece on Monday titled “Democrats and toxic media at their worst,” revealing out how top names in the news business intentionally twist the president’s words to mislead and divide the public.
“The left and its compliant media are willfully reporting false news to the American people,” the Herald’s editors said.
“Whether it is a symptom of mass hysteria that is the genesis for this confirmation bias-style reporting or an intentional maneuver to spread anti-Trump propaganda, its effect is toxic and pernicious.”
The paper’s prime example is a short video clip shared on Twitter April 5 by a user named Mark Elliott who contended Trump refers to migrants at the U.S. southern border as “animals.”
With a following of more than 22,000, Elliott includes a caption saying: “@realDonaldTrump on people asking for asylum ‘These aren’t people. These are animals.'”
Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, responded: “You do not refer to human beings as animals. You just don’t.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said: “Racist language like this has led to violence throughout the world’s history. No human being is an animal. We have to be better than this.”
Supermodel Chrissy Teigen tweeted: “f***ing vile man.”
The Herald correctly explained:
In truth, the video is almost a year old. Last May, during a meeting with the president, Sheriff Margaret Mims of Fresno County, Calif., explained to Trump that she was frustrated over that state’s restrictive immigration sanctuary policies.
“There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it,” she told Trump.
“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in,” Trump said of the murderous gang, in response. “And we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.”
The Herald says, “The president’s words were clearly relating to the murderous gang MS-13 and not innocent migrants.”
It then noted:
The exchange first became a controversy last year when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi mischaracterized the remarks. “When the president of the United States says about undocumented immigrants, ‘These aren’t people; these are animals,’ you have to wonder: Does he not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?”
The New York Times, Washington Post and Associated Press all piled on. That was last year but here we go again.
Glenn Thrush of the Times retweeted the post and commented, “These are animals.”
MSNBC’s Joy Reid posted, “Asylum seekers ‘aren’t people.’ They are ‘Animals’. This is particularly frightening language coming out of a person vested with the power of a presidential office.”
CNN’s Ana Navarro-Cardenas tweeted a picture of a child and wrote, “This little boy is seeking asylum in the United States. His name is William. Trump calls him ‘animal.’”
Ben Rhodes, former national security adviser to President Barack Obama tweeted, “If the leader of any other country said this, we would view it as a horrifying, authoritarian assault on human dignity. Which it is.”
On and on the list goes. Tweets and retweets of misinformation. Millions of Americans will believe what they have read and look on their neighbors as suspect.
Americans can tweet what they want. Reputable media personnel, however, are entrusted to be the conveyors of truth. They constantly declare their import with screeds about the First Amendment. Those in media who propagated this toxic lie should be fired.
In the wake of the Herald’s publication of the falsehood, Mark Elliott removed his original tweet that sparked the controversy.
“I have learned that Trump’s comments were in response to a specific question about MS-13 members and not about asylum seekers more broadly,” Elliott wrote Monday afternoon.
“I have chosen to delete the tweet, but am copying it here. My apologies for not being more accurate.”
I have learned that Trump’s comments were in response to a specific question about MS-13 members and not about asylum seekers more broadly. I have chosen to delete the tweet, but am copying it here. My apologies for not being more accurate. pic.twitter.com/oDTdNvzSdq
— Mark Elliott (@markmobility) April 8, 2019
Elliott has been coming under fire since publishing his “correction.” Some of the comments include:
- “Where have you been hiding that you didn’t know about this CSPAN animals clip when it was fresh nearly a year ago? It was distributed widely at that time. It was discussed widely at that time. How did you miss it?”
- “AND IT ONLY TOOK YOU 3 DAYS … AMAZING!!!”
- “It would be better if you admitted it was intentional in the first place and then apologized for that. Because you knew. You’re just like everyone else who pretends they didn’t.”
Columnist Becket Adams at the Washington Examiner summed up the situation, saying: “So, there you have it: A person you have never heard of managed somehow to get mainstream reporters, celebrities with millions of followers, members of Congress, and presidential candidates to share a lie based on a year-old video that most of them had already seen. The fact that a single, intentionally dishonest tweet sparked a viral debate this weekend over comments that have already been litigated should scare you.
“At this rate, the Russians and Chinese don’t even have to put in any effort sowing discord and distrust in the U.S. with targeted disinformation campaigns. Just put everyone on Twitter, and it’s all done for them.”
NOTE: The full transcript of the remarks by President Trump at the May 2018 California Sanctuary State Roundtable can be read here.
The full video of the president’s roundtable can be seen here.
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