(WATCH) Media Miss

We’re now moving into the most heated phase of the 2024 presidential campaign. Few things are as important to the two top candidates, Biden and Trump, as getting positive coverage in the news. Donald Trump had a decided disadvantage in 2016 and 2020 when it comes to the traditional press and social media. Here at Full Measure, we’ve documented the media’s uniquely harsh treatment of Trump since he first declared his run for the White House, including an explosion in the trend of false reporting by formerly well-respected national news outlets. We’ve also been tracking media mistakes under the Biden presidency to see if he’d fall victim to the same syndrome. In other words, is the media making an unprecedented number of sloppy but innocent errors, or is their behavior part of a calculated strategy? Today’s cover story: what the record shows.

The following is a transcript of a report from “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson.” Watch the video by clicking the link at the end of the page.

When President Biden spent last Christmas on vacation with family, he continued the longest string in two decades of a U.S. president not visiting the troops during the holiday. But there was no criticism in the press like there had been of his predecessor, President Trump. With Trump, the media was eager to blare negative headlines, even when false.

In 2018, NBC incorrectly reported that Trump stayed home at Christmastime, the first U.S. president since 2002 to skip visiting the troops. The news went global. But it wasn’t true. The media had jumped the gun. Trump and First Lady Melania left the White House Christmas Day to visit U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

On Thanksgiving, Newsweek made a similar error, falsely reporting that Trump was spending the holiday “golfing” at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. But the reporter had fabricated the golf story. Trump flew to Afghanistan on Thanksgiving to again be with the troops, making Trump the only president in U.S. history to visit troops in a combat zone both on Thanksgiving and so close to Christmas — though the press never reported that.

Three years into the Biden presidency, it’s clear: Trump was treated with unique unfairness by error-riddled reports in the media, always cutting in a negative direction. There’s been no similar trend under Biden. But first, a reminder of just a few of the worst media mistakes about Trump.

CNN claimed Nancy Sinatra was “not happy” her father’s song was played at Trump’s inauguration. But Nancy Sinatra responded, “That’s not true. I never said that. Why do you lie, CNN?”

TIME falsely claimed Trump removed the bust statue of Martin Luther King from the Oval Office.

TMZ reported Trump changed “Black History Month” to “African American History Month.” But Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton had all called it African American History Month.

BBC, The Guardian, and others reported that Trump wasn’t bothering to listen to a speech by Italy’s prime minister, since he wasn’t wearing translation headphones. Turns out he was wearing a translation earpiece.

Newsweek and others reported Poland’s First Lady refused to shake Trump’s hand — but later had to admit she did.

CNN edited Trump’s remarks to make it seem as though he didn’t realize Japan builds cars in the U.S. But the full statement made clear that he does.

Trump: You’ve been creating jobs for our country for a long, long time. Several Japanese automobile industry firms have been really doing a job.

CNN also edited a video to make it seem like Trump impatiently dumped fish food in the water at Japan’s palace. But he’d followed the lead of Japan’s prime minister.

Newsweek claimed Ivanka Trump “plagiarized” one of her own speeches, which is impossible, since plagiarizing is stealing someone else’s work.

The UK Telegraph apologized for at least eight mistakes in an article criticizing Melania Trump.

The New York Times, AP, CNN, and others excerpted a Trump comment as if he’d called all illegal immigrants “animals.”

Trump: These aren’t people; these are animals.

Later corrections noted he’d been referring to members of the murderous MS-13 criminal gang.

The New York Times Magazine and CNN shared a story showing children illegally brought into the U.S., supposedly in cages. But the article and photos were actually from the Obama administration.

Agence France-Presse mistakenly reported that more than 100,000 children brought in by illegal immigrants were being held in detention. That was actually the total number in 2015 under Obama.

Time and others showed a crying Honduran child to illustrate Trump separating illegal immigrant parents from children. But the child hadn’t been separated from her parents in the U.S.

MSNBC falsely claimed Trump “banned” the Red Cross from visiting the immigrant children. The Red Cross said that wasn’t true.

MSNBC also falsely claimed that Trump had talked about “exterminating Latinos,” but later corrected that and apologized.

NBC News misidentified the focus of Trump’s praise in a speech as Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Actually, Trump was talking about Union General Ulysses S. Grant.

Trump: And his name was Grant, General Grant.

The Washington Post and others falsely reported that Trump-supporting pro-life Catholic high school students were the aggressors in a confrontation in Washington, D.C.

Several news outlets featured an empty podium at Trump’s Fourth of July celebration in 2019 and said he didn’t draw crowds. But the photo was taken before the event. The actual crowd was huge.

The New York Times and others implied Trump hadn’t paid income taxes for 18 years. But the record shows he’d paid a higher rate than Democrats Bernie Sanders and President Obama.

Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal reported Special Counsel Robert Mueller had subpoenaed Trump’s bank records. That wasn’t true.

Politico falsely reported that Trump owed the Bank of China tens of millions of dollars in a loan coming due, as he dealt with China on coronavirus. Not true.

MSNBC falsely reported that Trump had loans with Russian co-signers.

Slate.com falsely claimed a Russian bank server had been illicitly communicating with Trump Tower.

And the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and many others falsely reported that the Hunter Biden laptop scandal story was “unsubstantiated” or “Russian disinformation.”

The New York Times reported that “Trump seized on [hydroxychloroquine] as a miracle cure.” Trump never said that.

Trump: It may work, and it may not work. But if it doesn’t work, it’s nothing lost by doing it. Nothing.

CNN and others criticized Trump for tweeting that Alabama would likely be affected by Hurricane Dorian. But official advisories had put Alabama in a projected impacted area.

Vox.com tweeted that Trump suggested he’d been a “9/11 First Responder.” He’d said the opposite.

Trump: And I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder.

Multiple media falsely claimed Trump was golfing during a U.S. raid that captured the head of ISIS in Syria, and that a White House photo of Trump had been “staged.” But Trump was at the White House.

ABC aired video showing what it called a “slaughter” against Kurds by Turkey after Trump withdrew U.S. troops. But the video was file tape of a training show in the U.S.

And USA Today connected the eagle on a Trump campaign T-shirt with a Nazi eagle — later admitting “the eagle is a longtime U.S. symbol, too.”

After Biden was sworn in, what did we find? The media made fewer major mistakes. And the ones they did make still cut against Trump — or somehow favored Biden and his agenda. Here are just a few examples.

The New York Times published a fabricated claim that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was killed by “pro-Trump supporters” who “struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher.” However, Sicknick died from a stroke.

The Poynter Institute’s PolitiFact, the Washington Post, and others falsely said the idea of Covid coming from a lab was a debunked “conspiracy theory.”

Web MD, USA Today, and others incorrectly dubbed the 2020 Sturgis, South Dakota Motorcycle Rally a Covid “Super Spreader” event. Data showed the rally had way below the national average of cases.

Associated Press falsely stated that 70% of recent calls to Mississippi Poison Control were from people who’d taken ivermectin for Covid. The actual number was reportedly 2%.

USA Today falsely claimed President Biden only checked his watch after the return of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan. In fact, Biden repeatedly checked his watch during the ceremony, as families of the fallen soldiers claimed.

Mediaite falsely declared that Joe Biden had not referred to baseball great Satchel Paige as a “Negro.” In fact, he’d done just that.

Biden: You know I’ve adopted the attitude of the great Negro at the time… his name was Satchel Paige.

And the Washington Post claimed Sen. Tom Cotton was wrong to say murderers like the Boston Marathon bomber would qualify for Covid stimulus checks under Biden. Turns out the convicted killer did receive a stimulus check in prison.

Sharyl (on-camera): Trump sued CNN for $475 million for calling his challenges to the 2020 election ‘the Big Lie.’ He argued it defamed him because The Big Lie is a Nazi term. The judge threw out the case, saying CNN was using the term as an opinion, and it didn’t necessarily link Trump to Hitler or genocide of Jews.

Watch video here.

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1 thought on “(WATCH) Media Miss”

  1. Very good presentation. It could have easily been twice as long. That’s how much garbage “news” is out there, and getting worse all the time.

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