Driving Your Adversaries Crazy: More Anti-Trump Media Blunders
The New York Times and Associated Press this week quietly issued major retractions in stories concerning alleged Russian interference in last year’s presidential election.Trump reacted to all this by asking:
For months, Democrats have tried to connect President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to Russia’s alleged interference in last year’s election. The most prominent narrative has accused Trump of “collusion” with the Russians, although no concrete evidence has proved the claims correct.
One of the other prominent claims, one touted by many Democrats, has been to say all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia attempted to interfere in the election.
Last Sunday, the Times ran a report titled, “Trump’s Deflections and Denials on Russia Frustrate Even His Allies,” and claimed that “all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community” had confirmed Russia orchestrated cyberattacks to interfere in the election.
The Associated Press made similar claims in stories on April 6, June 2, June 26 and June 29.
Losing 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton even made the claim during a debate last October and fact-checking website PolitiFact ruled Clinton’s claim to be completely true.
However, as fate would have it, not all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies made that claim nor had they confirmed it. In fact, only four agencies did: the CIA, the FBI, the NSA and the office of the director of national intelligence.
That fact forced the Times and the AP to issue retractions and corrections.
The Times wrote in a correction on Thursday: “A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump’s deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year’s presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”
While the AP wrote in a similar correction on Friday: “In stories published April 6, June 2, June 26 and June 29, The Associated Press reported that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump. That assessment was based on information collected by three agencies – the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency – and published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which represents all U.S. intelligence agencies. Not all 17 intelligence agencies were involved in reaching the assessment.”
Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2017
By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
The Meeting That Didn’t HappenFrom Brietbart:
A Breitbart News investigation has led to the correction by the Associated Press–which originally resisted–of the fake news it printed as deeper questions of responsibility, accountability, and journalistic ethics consume the AP heading into Fourth of July weekend.
This time, the Associated Press invented an imaginary meeting between EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, and then alleged that some kind of impropriety happened as a result.
Under the headline “EPA chief met with Dow CEO before deciding on pesticide ban,” the AP’s Michael Biesecker alleged that some super-secret covert meeting occurred between Pruitt and Liveris—and that awful things came as a result of that meeting.
The problem with Biesecker’s piece, which ran over the Associated Press wires on Wednesday evening, is that as Breitbart News has confirmed from both sides: No meeting ever occurred, despite one appearing on Pruitt’s schedule. Sure, both were at the conference and briefly shook hands when introduced, but they never had a “meeting” because of scheduling conflicts.
“Administrator Scott Pruitt did not meet privately with Andrew Liveris, the CEO of Dow,” Liz Bowman, the EPA’s spokeswoman, told Breitbart News. “The AP article is inaccurate and misleading. Despite multiple attempts to provide the Associated Press with the facts, this article has not been corrected.”
Lies? Fake News?So we have an out and out epidemic of bogus stories from the Mainstream Media, all tending to discredit the election of Donald Trump and his Administration. We have documented more here and here.
Is this “fake news?”
The concept was invented by the liberal media during the 2016 election season to claim that fake news was responsible for the election of Donald Trump. And it was deployed to attack all conservative media.
But soon enough the tables were turned and conservatives, along with Trump himself, flung that epithet at the Mainstream Media.
But genuine fake news is stories that are known to be false by the people who write them. They are intentional frauds, in other words. Classic example: the story that Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump.
In fact, what we have from the Mainstream Media is not intentional lies but rather a radical lowering of journalistic standards, fueled by the loathing media people feel toward Trump. Since they so badly want stories reflecting badly on Trump to be true, they fail to show the skepticism and careful sourcing good journalism requires.
And of course, Trump’s excoriation of the media simply reinforces the loathing, and leads to more journalistic blunders, which gives Trump more material which which to attack the media.
It could be seen as a brilliant strategy on Trump’s part to discredit his critics. Except we don’t think the terms “Donald Trump” and “strategy” fit together. Trump is not Machiavelli. In terms of strategizing, he’s not even your average cribbage player. But when he pops off, it drives his adversaries crazy.
That is a political asset. It’s not the one we’d most like to see in a president, but it’s not a trivial one.