The Corner

Immigration

On a Willful Lie from the Press

President Donald Trump talks to the media at Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 10, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

This claim is omnipresent on social media and beyond:

Peruse Twitter or Facebook right now, and you’ll see this line everywhere — and not solely in the feeds of left-leaning journalists or from admitted critics of the president. Collectively, this is the line that the “down-the-middle” press has elected to sell. In the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson complains that, “calling immigrants ‘animals,’ Trump evokes an ugly history of dehumanization.” USA Today reports that “Trump ramps up rhetoric on undocumented immigrants: ‘These aren’t people. These are animals.'” The Huffington Post gripes that “Trump Refers To Immigrants As ‘Animals.’ Again.”

This isn’t true. Trump didn’t “lash out at undocumented immigrants,” or “refer to immigrants as ‘animals.'” Rather, he referred to members of the murderous gang, MS-13, as “animals” after a questioner brought the outfit up by name. That he was responding to the question, not riffing on illegal immigrants in general, is extremely obvious to anyone who has watched the full footage of the exchange, which, presumably, is why every single news story that suggests otherwise features a truncated clip or transcript that edits the questioner out. Here, from CSPAN, is a good example of the trick.

What these outlets are doing here is lying. There is no more accurate way of putting it. One can forgive the thousands of people who see this false information and reflexively believe it to be true — unless they look into the matter, they will know no better. But one cannot forgive those who are deliberately spreading falsehoods. Trump himself is a habitual liar — to the point at which he lies about things about which there is no obvious incentive to lie. If the press thinks they can change that by spreading lies themselves, it’s going to be sorely disappointed.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

O’Rourke’s America

With apologies to Margaret Atwood and a thousand other dystopian novelists, we do not have to theorize about what an American police state would look like, because we know what it looks like: the airport, that familiar totalitarian environment where Americans are disarmed, stripped of their privacy, divested of ... Read More
World

Is America Becoming Sinicized?

A little over 40 years ago, Chinese Communist strongman and reformer Deng Xiaoping began 15 years of sweeping economic reforms. They were designed to end the disastrous, even murderous planned economy of Mao Zedong, who died in 1976. The results of Deng’s revolution astonished the world. In four decades, ... Read More
World

Kurdish, Syrian, and Turkish Ironies

Outrage met Donald Trump’s supposedly rash decision to pull back U.S. troops from possible confrontational zones between our Kurdish friends in Syria and Recep Erdogan’s expeditionary forces. Turkey claims that it will punish the Syrian Kurds for a variety of supposed provocations, including aiding and ... Read More
Sports

LeBron James Looks Like a Fraud

So, LeBron James claimed that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey was simply “misinformed or not really educated on the situation” when he tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. “I don’t want to get into a feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at ... Read More