Leaving out the accuser

Leaving out the accuser

PE Bias Grade : F

By: Allen Nitschelm on July 31, 2019 | Article Review, Media Criticism

This is a review of the following Boston Globe Article:
Article Title Trump calls congressional critic’s district ‘disgusting’
Date 07/28/2019
Article Link Boston Globe ( Page A9 )
Syndicated From New York Times
Journalist Peter Baker
Article Summary

Trump attacks House Chairman Cummings over his district’s condition.

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House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings started it. He went after a member of the administration (the director of Homeland Security) and personally attacked him with charges that kids and illegal immigrants are standing in their own feces at our detention facilities. Outrageous. He has also recently used the race card against President Trump. So Trump naturally is going to attack back.

First, Trump responded to a Fox News report on the problems in Rep. Cummings’ district. Baltimore does seem like a mess, yet Cummings has been in the House for years and the basic problems in his district have not been solved. They may actually be getting worse. Why isn’t the Congressman being blamed at least in part for the mess he represents and hasn’t fixed?

Second, this Globe story doesn’t identify the person who first made the accusation. In fact, her name isn’t even mentioned. Kimberly Klasic is a Republican from Baltimore who was criticizing her congressional Representative as a local insider who has studied the situation. She was partisan, but she has her own voice and Trump relied on her analysis in forming his opinion. She should have been referenced. This wasn’t Trump attacking Baltimore out of the blue, this was a local Republican activist who sees a dire situation and went on Fox News. This is important because Trump was responding to something, and it is hypocritical of the Congressman to be talking about alleged terrible conditions at the border when his own district is such a mess.

Third, the reporter ties Trump’s criticism to race, by reporting on the racial makeup of Cummings’ constituents and then referring to the allegedly racist comments Trump tweeted about the “Squad” from last week. Trump’s comments had nothing to do with race, but throw the charge around whenever you can. This is how the “Trump is a racist” narrative works. The media plays a big role in this smear campaign and the Democrats just love it when their partner-in-crime does the dirty work for them.

I shouldn’t have to say it, but criticizing an elected Representative for their poor performance based on squalid conditions in their district cannot lead to charges of racism by his opponent or his opponent’s party. And having the media make the charge (rather than reporting what the partisans say, their normal method of attacking Trump) is 100x worse.

Let me take this argument a step further. When some Democrat gets up and says something like “President Trump is a racist for attacking an African-American Congressman,” the media should handle such a quote the same way they handle Trump’s opinion reporting. They could say, for example, that Trump “did not mention the Congressman’s race” or “the Democrat offered no evidence that Trump’s comments were racially motivated” or something like that.

It is one thing to give an opinion, and report it. It is another thing to attack someone with a smear and have the media not try to defend the attacked person because their reporting of the smear is what does the damage. But the media acts as if “Trump is a racist” has been a proven fact and now they just look for any circumstantial evidence to back it up.

I happened to get one of those news alerts on my phone, and it was about this story. Reuters (one of the news services) directly tied Trump’s comments to race by referring to the Congressman as Black (as if his photo didn’t make that point) and then repeated Cummings’ partisan charge against President Trump when he called him a racist. This term is being flung around so much, perhaps by the election it will carry zero weight. I have attached two photos to show how the media is turning Trump’s attack into another “racism” story. So while the Globe bears responsibility for what it chooses to print, it has plenty of company in our corrupt and unprofessional media landscape.



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