AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File
Not only did they again accuse the president of Obama-era transgressions but they refuse to make corrections
At this point, I am certain it was not overzealousness that led to the latest bout of media malpractice. Surely by now when reports of this nature come out and purportedly reveal what they “know” to be the facts regarding President Trump and his administration the media simply run the stories by rote.
Lather-rinse-repeat has been altered to become Gather, Cut/Paste, Retweet. Any factual error can be dealt with later.
What needs to be pointed out in the newest act of fraudulent reporting is this time the press itself was duped. All of the concerns we hear from journalist hall monitors, like Brian Stelter, is that they need to fight against false stories for the sake of the public. Whether it is Fox News or artificial stories passed around social media, they worry about the public buying into inaccurate reports. As we will see, there is little concern however when a fake story is passed around by a news syndicate and it is the press who is swallowing the fake news.
The latest example comes courtesy of a “new” United Nations study on global detentions of minors. It’s “Global Study of Children Deprived of Liberty” was delivered Monday with a press conference. Manfred Nowak, who was the primary researcher with the study, noted the United States incarcerated over 100,000 children and he made pointed comments about the Trump administration’s policies on detaining minors. Major news outlets regurgitated the announcement, primarily using the Reuters news dispatch of the presser.
The problem: It was all wildly inaccurate. It took the next day — after a full news cycle of outrage — for Nowak and the UN to come forward and issue a slight correction on his study. The truth was the statistics concerning US detentions were centered on the year 2015. Uh oh. All of that outrage and accusatory prolix directed at Trump actually concerned Obama? The DNC War Room Twitter account, for one example, had declared this study as proof of the administration’s white nationalism. It did the only thing possible when faced with Barack Obama being dubbed a white nationalist — they deleted their accusation.
And so did Reuters. Rather than making a correction and reframing the story with accurate facts, the news syndicate instead announced it would simply eliminate the story. “The United Nations issued a statement on Nov. 19 saying the number was not current but was for the year 2015.” This was the entire extent of the correction Reuters would offer. It then declared the matter would no longer be addressed. “No replacement story will be issued,” is the trite follow-up.”
Most media outlets followed suit, completely pulling back their reports rather than correcting the timeframe and letting the report of the UN study remain. A study that shows how the Obama administration was committing the very acts that President Trump is accused of executing is now memory-holed by the national media complex.
A prime example of this is from Jennifer Bendery, of the Huffington Post. She is also Vice President of the Washington Press Club. Here is her tweet where she can be seen waving away the smoke she had previously pointed at, while yelling “Fire!”
I deleted a tweet from yesterday that linked out to a Reuters story citing a UN report saying the US has more than 100K kids in immigration-related custody.
Reuters has withdrawn that story and said those numbers were from 2015. https://t.co/W1IIYYc60u
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) November 19, 2019
No curiosity, no follow up, no explained corrections needed. When Trump was the guilty party the story warranted coverage. But look what happens when the details involve the prior administration — we’ll just carry that story out to the curb to be picked up with the other refuse, and be done with it.
At issue here are numerous problems, all of which come back and smear the journalistic outlets. At the press conference Nowak knowingly laid blame on the U.S. as being the worst offender, although as one of the authors he was fully aware of the scope of the study.
“The United States is one of the countries with the highest numbers,” he said gravely. ”We still have more than 100,000 children in migration-related detention in the U.S.’’ And despite knowing the years involved in the research he still elected to impugn Trump for Obama’s actions. ‘’Of course separating children, as was done by the Trump administration, from their parents and even small children at the Mexican-U.S. border is absolutely prohibited by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.’’
Our media outlets were perfectly content to echo these charges, despite the fact they had the report available. As detailed in the document, the resolution for this study was passed in December, 2014. Nowak was brought in on October 2016 to go over the data collected. This all predates the Trump administration. When the corrections came out the massaging of the language by the UN spokespersons was notably euphemistic.
He ”misspoke’’, as he “mistakenly’’ presented four-year-old cumulative data as being contemporary. Then they tried to pass the cause over to those who listened to his exact words, explaining that Nowak was “to some extent misunderstood“. Yes, that extent was ‘’fully misunderstood’’, because he knowingly lied about the study he was directly connected to three years back. He compiled the data, and he knew of the years that were studied.
He also blatantly lied about the 100,000 children figure. Nowak stated clearly there are ‘’still’’ 100,000 being held, when that was the collective amount of children held at any time, during 2015. For our media to see this on display and completely sweep everything away, as if it never happened, illustrates all of the accusations of hackery they absorb.
As Brian Stelter is analyzing Fox News for typos in the chyrons during broadcasts note the silence from him, and others in the press, on this far larger piece of journalistic malpractice. While outlets like Snopes worry that a satire site like The Babylon Bee may be fooling some in the public here is a major news syndicate disseminating a major news story that is patently false. That story was collected by other news outlets, who simply echo the words they are fed. Think of who is likely to have the greater reach. News divisions from The New York Times, Yahoo News, Huffington Post, and numerous others all pulled down the Reuters report blaming President Trump for President Obama’s actions. The mass of the media complex broadcast a wildly incorrect report, all because few journalists could be bothered to read it.
Every time these convenient accidents come up someone in the media makes the excuse that at least they admit the error, and it is corrected. Not so. As Reuters declared, once Obama was the one indicted by the data ‘’no replacement story will be issued”. They covered this story — with dirt, after it was tossed into a hole in the backyard.
These “errors” happen all too frequently. At some point you would expect that corrective actions would take place, except there is no desire to correct them. Get the negative headlines out there, plant that seed in the public mind, and then rework or even eliminate the piece later, after the damage is done. To call these “mistakes’’ would imply there is a desire to learn from those by the journalists.
Instead, the public is learning who to not listen to in the news industry.