Watch a video of today's Full Measure television news segment highlighting a selection of media mistakes and misses in the era of Trump, from the New York Times to CNN, the Washington Post, NBC, and CBS.
Taking a moment out now for a page from my new book “SLANTED: How the news media taught us to love censorship and hate journalism.” It traces the devolution of the news as we once knew it. Exhibit One is the historic trend of major media mistakes in the era of Trump forming a disturbing pattern.
Announcer: And now, the President and First Lady of the United States will take their first dance.
Sharyl: The tone was set on President Trump’s first official day in office
CNN claimed Nancy Sinatra was
“not happy” about her father Frank Sinatra’s song “My Way” being used at Trump’s inauguration.
Music: I did it my way.
Nancy Sinatra responded on Twitter, “That’s not true. I never said that. Why do you lie, CNN? Actually I’m wishing him the best.”
Meantime, Time incorrectly reported that President Trump had removed the bust statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., from the Oval Office.
That false news went viral.
In February, TMZ reported Trump had changed the name Black History Month to African American History Month, implying the change was racist.
Please show Obama, Bush and Clinton
In fact, it turns out Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, and Clinton all called Black History Month African American History Month.
Also, The Washington Post reported on the “Cabinet Battle over Trump’s Immigration Order.” The article was repeatedly “updated” to note that one of the reported meetings did not actually occur, a conference call did not happen as described in the article and actions attributed to Trump were actually carried out by his chief of staff.
And The New York Times reported on supposed contacts between Trump campaign staff and “senior Russian intelligence officials.”
FBI director James Comey later testified, it “was not true.”
Sen. Jim Risch: That report by the NYT was not true. Is that a fair statement?
James Comey: In the main it was not true.
In May, the BBC and The Guardian reported because Trump wasn’t wearing headsets, he didn’t bother to listen to the translation of a speech by Italy’s prime minister.
But Trump was wearing his earpiece in his right ear, as always, said the White House.
June 2017, NBC News reported that Russian President Putin said he had compromising information about Trump. Actually, Putin said the opposite.
Megyn Kelly: Do you have something damaging on our President?
President Putin: Well, this is just another load of nonsense. Where would we get this information from?
CNN and ABC falsely reported that FBI director Comey was going to refute Donald Trump’s claim that Comey told Trump three times he wasn’t under investigation. Instead, Comey confirmed Trump’s claim under oath.
Sen. Susan Collins: It appears you actually volunteered that assurance. Is that correct?
Comey: That’s correct.
CNN retracted a report claiming Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.”
Newsweek reported Poland’s first lady refused to shake Trump’s hand, but later acknowledged she did.
CNN edited a video to make it appear as though Trump impatiently dumped a box of fish food into the water in Japan. The full video showed Trump had simply followed the lead of Japan’s prime minister.
Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal falsely reported Special Counsel Robert Mueller had subpoenaed Trump’s bank records.
AP reported a new survey showed trust in the media had fallen during the Trump presidency.
But the survey was actually conducted under President Obama.
The New York Times said a hypothetical family’s tax bill would rise nearly $4,000 under Trump’s tax plan. It turns out their taxes would actually go down $43.
The New York Times and CNN shared a story with photos of immigrant children in cages. It turns out the photos were from 2014 during the Obama administration.
In December 2018, NBC reported Trump was the first president since 2002 not to visit the troops at Christmastime.
But Trump actually left the White House on Christmas to visit troops in Iraq.
ABC aired video purportedly showing a “slaughter” and “horrific report of atrocities” against Kurds by Turkey after President Trump withdrew US troops.
ABC News: This video right here appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town.
But the video was file tape of a training video in the US.
In November 2019, Newsweek falsely reported that President Trump was spending Thanksgiving golfing in Florida.
He was actually in Afghanistan serving dinner to US troops.
CBS aired a story in March of 2020 supposedly showing a New York hospital crowded with coronavirus patients.
CBS News: It’s all hands on deck in America’s hospitals.
It was actually file tape from Italy. A week later, CBS News mistakenly used the Italy video again.
Sharyl (on camera): Those are just a few examples. SLANTED, examines what’s behind this trend and also takes a deep dive into the very public devolution of the New York Times and CNN where I used to work. SLANTED is available today.
Christian.: Gill. says
This is great but you NEED to show the video clips of all these events - conveyance via text detracts from the potential power it would otherwise have
Tim ryan says
Thank you for restoring my faith in responsible journalism. I know Trump isn't perfect, I voted twice for him because I felt he could get things done. Most of the hard working Americans I know, are tired of politicians lying about what they will do. Criminal activity seems to go unreported and never prosecuted. The Washington elite think they are untouchable, the law doesn't seem to apply to them.
We have been effectively divided by all forms of media, independent conservative watch as people become more dependent on government. Slowly but surely this great country is becoming something it was never meant to be.
Kathy J says
The main reason Washington became so corrupt is because investigative journalists were no longer allowed to report on their own. Now we essentially have actors and actresses reading a script supplied to brainwash unsuspecting viewers. Look no further than publishers to blame for America's moral decline.
Synopsis: During the Trump administration, and even before it began, the media didn't investigate rumors before reporting them as news. The only criteria the media had for reporting was - it has to make Trump look bad. The fact this occurred across the vast majority of the media for 4+ years is evidence of "collusion" by the media.
Steve Aschoff says
Not specific to this post, necessarily, but have always enjoyed your journalistic integrity! I am so thankful for true journalists such as yourself along with the platforms that have risen up to allow you a place to share your gifts! Thank you so much for all that you do, Sharyl!!
I read your book and I couldn't put it down though I often wanted to throw it across the room in disgust at those who are supposed to be our examples, leaders and hope. Thank you for being about the only person willing to call out the media and the liberals for their part in the atmosphere in this country. I have a very hard time watching MSM as I just no longer believe they tell the whole story and not just giving the narrative. THANK YOU SHARYL
Dick Lanier says
The headline to this article is seriously misleading. Instead of “A Selection of Slanted Media Mistakes and Misses in the Era of Trump”, it should be “A Selection of Slanted Media Mistakes and Misses by the MSM in the Era of Trump. By your own admission in the subheading, this list appears to be limited to mistakes made by the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, NBC, and CBS. Where are Fox, OAN, and Newsmax?
While you are certainly providing a public service by pointing out mistakes made by the media, doesn’t “nonpartisanship” require some context? Many of these stories are hardly of national import (such as the mistaken claim that Nancy Sinatra didn’t want “My Way” used at the inaugural ball). But the real missing piece is that the overwhelming number of them have been corrected. Yet I don’t recall ever seeing such a complete list of the mountain of lies and severe distortions told by Trump and his media supporters, almost none of which have been corrected.
Just in the past month, for example, Fox, Newsmax, and OAN all said that Dominion was started by two people with ties to Venezuela. They also claimed that Dominion had ties to Symantec. We all know those are not true. Fox and Newsmax later did a sort of mea culpa, not admitting that what they said was wrong, but merely saying that they had no evidence to back up their claim.
And there are other examples of claims made in the name of voter fraud from Dominion machines flipping votes to dead people voting to illegal ballot dumps in the middle of the night, none of which have been shown to be true. To be fair, in some cases, these media were only repeating what others had said. But to merely repeat something without pointing out the lack of evidence backing it up and not providing alternative explanations is tantamount to endorsing it in my opinion. That makes them mistakes.
These seem like pretty serious claims. Why aren’t they in this list? It’s certainly in the “era of Trump”. And they are certainly mistakes.
And I haven’t even started on the truly outlandish folks like Alex Jones. Perhaps you feel that he is beyond redemption and not worthy of consideration for this list. How about Rush Limbaugh? I have heard lots of wild claims from him with no supporting evidence other than the standard “we all know”. Does he count?
A word explaining where the boundaries are would be nice.
It seems beyond dispute that the MSM is anti-Trump. So I would expect to see lots of examples where the MSM tripped all over themselves to be the first to broadcast some story that made Trump look bad even if it later turned out to not be true. So continue to call them out. They need to be held accountable for what they say.
But the MSM could hardly be all of the examples. Yet that seems to be what we have here.