Americans Deserve Better Than the Media Is Giving Them

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Having failed in their first two prolonged attempts to derail President Donald J. Trump’s administration and drive him from office, the media has seized upon a new weapon: the Chinese coronavirus.

As during the Russia collusion conspiracy fabrication and the concocted Ukraine impeachment fiasco, media reporting on the virus has exposed many journalists’ true aim: causing political harm to President Trump no matter the cost to the country, to the accuracy of their stories, or to their own journalistic reputations.

The most egregious example came from the tragic story of an Arizona couple who ingested aquarium parasite treatment chemicals, thinking that the fish tank cleaner would serve as medicine to ward off the coronavirus. The husband died and the wife wound up in the hospital.

This is a heartbreaking story that proved too tantalizing for NBC, which laid the blame for the incident squarely on Trump.

Though the president had spoken only about the prospects of a different – actually medicinal – chemical being properly administered by doctors, numerous other media outlets picked up the piece and amplified it. These “journalists” practically turned the sad incident into a murder case against the president in a brazen attempt to inflict political damage.

From the very beginning of the outbreak, the media teamed with Democrats to ferociously attack Trump’s handling of the situation, undermining the federal response efforts and whipping up public hysteria. Seeing this, the president harkened back to the Russia collusion and Ukraine episodes and referred to the misleading Democrat and media coronavirus onslaught as “their new hoax.”

Right on cue, the media purposely warped this remark and repackaged it to make it appear as though Trump had called the virus itself a hoax, conjuring the fallacy that he believed the crisis did not even exist. 

Despite numerous independent fact-checkers debunking this lie, mainstream media figures and Democrats and the media continue to promote it or allow the falsehood to be spread unchallenged.  This journalistic malpractice has allowed Joe Biden and his Democrat allies to include the lie in advertising, only emphasizing the media’s complicity in dispending misinformation.

During one of President Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings, he was offering an optimistic view of drugs becoming available for treatment of the virus when an NBC reporter interrupted to ask if the president could be giving a “false sense of hope.”  In practically the next breath, the reporter reversed his line of attack and asked, “What do you say to Americans who are scared, though?” 

The president, frustrated that the reporter had first criticized optimism but then demanded a message of optimism, said, “I say that you’re a terrible reporter.” 

Naturally, the reporter immediately took to MSNBC to misrepresent the exchange and claim that he was only giving the president a chance to speak to frightened citizens, which is exactly what the president had been doing before being interrupted.

Not to be outdone, the rest of the press corps rallied around their colleague and continuously misrepresented the exchange by highlighting the final question and answer in a clear effort to portray the president negatively.   

Another case of news media omitting parts of a quote and promoting only the section that they believed harmed the president came following a phone call Trump had with governors of states.  The original New York Times story quoted the president accurately, noting that he said, “We will be backing you,” meaning that the federal government would be supporting the states.  The president then added that states might achieve faster results if they moved forward on their own, saying, “But try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”

As though there had been a strategy memo circulated, other journalists, including many who work for the New York Times, spread around only the “try getting it yourselvesportion and cast it in a decidedly negative light. The context and meaning had been completely lost, a casualty of reporters’ desire to get clicks online and politically gouge the president.

Americans can see that President Trump is out front and leading the country through this dangerous crisis. They can also see that the national news media, in general, have decided to serve as the opposition and seek to undermine the public’s confidence in the federal response.

Proof that citizens can clearly see this dynamic is found in a new Gallup poll showing that 60% of Americans support the president’s handling of the coronavirus, but only 44% favor the media’s reporting on it.  Unsurprisingly, the media came in dead last among entities included in the survey.

To be a political activist or an open partisan should not be included in reporters’ job descriptions.  

Americans deserve better.

Tim Murtaugh is the Trump 2020 communications director.



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