USA Today critics are livid over a new “fact check” that President Trump’s campaign is using “a Nazi symbol” — an American eagle — on its merchandise.
“Fact check: Trump campaign accused of T-shirt design with similarity to Nazi eagle” received a “True” ruling over the weekend and immediately sparked negative feedback on social media from incredulous readers.
At issue is the claim by a progressive Jewish group that “America First” shirts are “not an accident” in terms their similarity to Nazi symbols; an anti-Trump Republican group made similar claims.
“Our ruling: True,” the newspaper wrote. “The claims that a Trump campaign T-shirt has come under criticism for using a symbol similar to a Nazi eagle is TRUE, based on our research. But it is worth noting that the eagle is a common symbol in American politics, and is included in the presidential seal of the U.S., as well as many federal departments.”
A follow-up Twitter post also said: “Clarification: The claim that Trump 2020 has put out a T-shirt with a symbol similar to a Nazi eagle and is being criticized for it is true. Worth noting, the eagle is a longtime US symbol, too.”
Angry readers, for all intents and purposes, said it was absurd that USA Today would acknowledge “The Great Seal of America” as having been developed in 1782, yet still offer a “True” ruling for “an all-black bird” created in the 1930s.
Some replies to the two tweets include:
- “I have it on some of my vet org shirts! This is ridiculous! The eagle is a beautiful symbol we have always used in our nation!”
- “Welcome to the circus.”
- “This is why people don’t trust, and in many cases, HATE journalists.”
- “Clarification: The country would be better off if USA Today stopped operations.”
The conservative website Hotair noted that USA today was being “totally dishonest” by having its introductory claim differ from the claim in its conclusion ruled “True.”
“[USA Today] is fact-checking whether or not the T-shirt ‘has come under criticism for using a symbol similar to a Nazi eagle,’” wrote Jazz Shaw on Sunday. “Despite spending most of the article exploring the history of the Nazi eagle and the American bald eagle in official imagery, all he was checking was whether or not some troll on the internet complained about it? Then why write such a long article? All he had to do was retweet the idiotic partisan kvetching from Bend the Arc and the Lincoln Project, clap his hands and yell, ‘VERIFIED! Yep. Someone definitely criticized the shirt.’ Job well done, Mr. Peebles.”
“But that’s still totally dishonest,” he continued. “USA Today specifically said that the claim they were fact-checking was, ‘Trump campaign shirts feature imperial eagle, a Nazi symbol.’ So our fact-checker not only stepped on a rake when it comes to the facts in question but is apparently lying about it as well. So much for that.”
Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 communications director, told USA Today that its piece and ruling were “moronic.”