Yes, President Trump goes overboard with his criticisms of the press -- sometimes in waysthat have negative implications for the First Amendment -- but the media does itself no favors by letting its anti-Trump impulses stand in the way of accurate journalism. Too often, they confirm the gist of his "fake news" taunts. The crisis of trust that afflicts the American press deepens every time they blow a story, with ABC News providing a particularly egregious example on Friday. Correspondent Brian Ross has been suspended for misreporting the facts on an apparent bombshell scoop related to Trump and Russia, getting the single biggest detail of the story wrong. The untrue report remained uncorrected for hours, briefly tanking the market. Over the weekend, some other reporters and commentators decided to inflict further damage to media credibility by lazily or maliciously promulgating additional unfair and context-free attacks against Republicans.
If ABC's Russia debacle was exhibit A, let's discuss exhibit B. Numerous journalists and other liberals widely disseminated a terribly misleading soundbyte from Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, who just help shepherd the tax reform bill through the Senate. The narrative was too tempting: "GOP lawmaker gives giant tax cut to the rich (this is also a distortion unto itself), then admits he doesn't believe in giving needy children healthcare." Here's the alleged quote, first tweeted by an MSNBC host, then indignantly shared far and wide by scores of "blue checkmark" influencers:
Scarborough eventually deleted the tweet after racking up over 10,000 retweets, but defended his characterization of the quote, which is still just incorrect. Some journalists, including a few liberals, told the truth:
Yep, watch the clip. He didn't say what they claimed he said, and he's the author of the bill they claimed or insinuated he doesn't support, based on that cherry-picked quote. Meanwhile, many in the media tripped all over themselves to amplify an out-of-context quote from an email in which former Trump administration national security aide and US ambassador-designate to Singapore KT McFarland supposedly "admitted" that the Russians had "thrown the election" to Trump. In fact, context strongly suggests that she was attributing that view...to Democrats: