I know you don’t like Donald Trump, but today has been especially bad.
For starters, the Washington Post, in it’s “The Fix” political column on Monday, used a picture of an impersonator of Mr. Trump under its headline “One reason Donald Trump likes to do phone interviews via phone: He can’t be interrupted.”
The article had nothing to do with impersonators and it’s not like there’s not enough stock photos available of the real Mr. Trump. Can you imagine the same paper using a picture of an impersonator of Hillary Clinton as the photo accompanying a political article?
It’s like the Post is actually trying to reduce Mr. Trump into a caricature – in case their printed words weren’t enough.
Which brings me to my second example today: The Boston Globe’s political reporter Matt Viser.
During Mr. Trump’s speech addressing the Orlando terrorist event, Mr. Viser decided to Tweet: “Donald Trump says the Orlando killer was ‘born in Afghan.’ Not only is that not a country, but he was born in New York.”
Mr. Trump did boggle that up in his speech – and two seconds later corrected it. It also was not part of the official transcript emailed to reporters, meaning, it was an error Mr. Trump made while reading off the teleprompter. It wasn’t intentional.
But Mr. Viser decided not to Tweet that Mr. Trump acknowledged his error, or that the mistake wasn’t in Mr. Trump’s official transcript. Matter of fact, none of the reporters who mocked the misstep on Twitter (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post) did.
Oh well. On to the third example of press bias (just today!).
After the morning news shows, the Washington Post ran the headline: “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.”
The headline misconstrued Mr. Trump’s actual words so much, that David Martosko, the U.S. political director for the Daily Mail, said he’d argue for the firing of the editor who wrote it.
Mr. Trump, on Fox News, said: “Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”
Mr. Trump’s statement doesn’t “connect” Mr. Obama in anyway to the Orlando shootings. Thanks Post, for your responsible – not misleading at all – reporting.
The New York Times seems to have recognized the terror event - combined with Mr. Trump’s presidential run - has unhinged its newsroom.
The Times had to remind its newsroom on Monday that in the wake of the Orlando shooting and in the middle of a presidential campaign, reporters shouldn’t use their social media accounts to editorialize, promote or take sides on controversial issues, Poynter reported.
“On their personal social-media accounts, Times newsroom staffers should avoid editorializing, promoting their political views or taking sides on hot-button issues,” Philip Corbett, the associate managing editor for standards at the Times emailed to employees, as reported by Poynter.
“Even if you personally are not involved in coverage of a particular topic, our colleagues are working hard to maintain The Times’s credibility and evenhandedness, and we should not do anything to make their jobs tougher,” Mr. Corbett wrote.
Wish this memo went to Washington Post political reporter Philip Rucker, who after Mrs. Clinton’s speech wrote on Twitter: “Today’s speech is a big moment in Clinton’s campaign – calm and collected, but also resolute, tough and determined.”
Mrs. Clinton’s own communication’s team couldn’t have written it better.
Or to Politico’s Chief Political Correspondent Glenn Thrush, who wrote: “Every time Trump makes a ‘major’ speech you realize he’s got the organizational support and policy infrastructure of a food truck.”
To which the Post’s Chris Cillizza replied: “That sells food trucks short.”
The Republican National Committee’s Sean Spicer then intervened: “I guess you [Mr. Cillizza] and @GlennThrush have finally stopped faking being objective ‘journalists.’”