Selective amnesia

Selective amnesia

PE Bias Grade : F

By: Allen Nitschelm on December 24, 2019 | Article Review, Investigative Journalism

This is a review of the following Boston Globe Article:
Article Title President threatens to bypass debate commission
Date 12/17/2019
Article Link Boston Globe ( Page A3 )
Syndicated From Associated Press
Journalist Unsigned Associated Press
Article Summary

Trump questions whether he will participate in debates run by the “Commission on Presidential debates.”

Share This Story

Candidate debates are not required. They are agreements between candidates and some theoretically neutral organizations. On a local level, the organizers are usually groups like the League of Women voters. Anyone who is involved with local elections in the Acton area (where I live) knows the local League is a highly partisan operation heavily tilted towards the Democratic Party.

On a national level, it is the news media organizations that are involved, and more recently, some hybrid group has taken over, which I think was some combination of media groups perhaps with the two parties also involved. Their website for those interested is here:

Now, participation by candidates is strictly voluntary. This is a fact. Yet today’s Boston Globe article tries to make it sound like Trump is again up to no good because he questions the impartiality of the group. What, a group made up of Washington insiders might not be impartial against an outside-type candidate? Heaven forbid.

When the Democrats were setting up their primary debates, they specifically excluded Fox News from being a host. You see, Fox News is biased against Democrats.

So it is fine for the Democrat Party to pick who gets to ask the questions by the media to exclude legitimate news organizations, but it isn’t okay for President Trump to do the same questioning. He is out of bounds. This is a double-standard that is being unfairly deployed against President Trump by the media. They can’t seem to remember when the Democrats complain about debates, but Republicans need to accept whatever is offered, gratefully.

This short article would normally just get a poor bias grade and I would move on to more substantial pieces. But there were two very pointed critiques of the President that just didn’t fit. I’d like to focus on them a bit more.

The first was that President Trump made a false claim that his microphone was not functioning properly during one of the 2016 debates against Hillary Clinton. Here is how this article referred to the incident:

He incorrectly claimed Monday on Twitter that the commission was “forced to publicly apologize for modulating my microphone” in the first general election debate against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in September 2016.

But a quick Internet search proved Trump correct. It takes some nerve to call Trump’s complaint “incorrect” when it has been already documented as true. Here is the NYT article on it, titled “Actually, a malfunction did affect Donald Trump’s voice at the debate”:

The second questionable statement is repeated here:

But he also complained, without evidence, that the Commission on Presidential Debates is “stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers” and threatened to bypass them.

This media refrain that Trump said something “without evidence” is code-speak for “he is lying.” But Trump is definitely entitled to his opinions, and if he feels that this “non-partisan” organization has not or will not treat him fairly, he is free to say so. Just because he says so does not mean he has to “provide evidence.” That is an absurd standard but one which the media fraudulently uses.

If you go to the website for the Presidential Debates commission, you will see a Board of Republican and Democratic luminaries, including several past presidents as “Honorary Co-Chairs.” How many of them have publicly or privately expressed dismay at this unconventional candidate? One of the “Co-Chairs” (Barack Obama) may have led a government attempt to rig the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton.

The Bush family did not get behind candidate Trump after he was nominated. A quick Internet search returned this Guardian article ( saying that neither the father nor son would be endorsing Trump. They were Republican Presidents and they refused to endorse a duly nominated Republican? That is a textbook definition of a “Never Trumper.” Another link says the elder Bush voted for Hillary Clinton! So this second statement in this article is also false. There is plenty of evidence of bias against Trump on this “non-partisan” commission.

Based on these two terribly biased statements, I had to downgrade this short piece to an “F” bias grade.


Allen Nitschelm is publisher of He critiques the Boston Globe, mostly focusing on the bias in their news reporting. News articles are graded for bias, and the website has a listing of the average bias ratings for all reporters reviewed. See our website for more information and the four categories of articles published.

NOTE: We have been very active on our Facebook page for Public Editor Press. The page is getting lots of hits and comments, which have been very helpful. I urge readers to go there if you wish to participate or read reactions from others. You will need to “login” to Facebook to post your own comments but you can probably read them without a Facebook account. Here is the direct link to this article’s Facebook page:

To reach our Facebook site in general:


Author Rating

Rating: 1.0/10.


There are no user ratings at the moment.

Subscriber Ratings & Comments

Please be sure you are logged in to Rate Boston Globe Articles or Post Comments.

Here is the article you are rating for journalistic bias: President threatens to bypass debate commission

Rating scale in brief: 10 = A (No Bias) | 1 = F (Extreme Bias). For more details, please read Tips & Instructions below.

Please wait...

*Requires minimim of 5 Ratings to be displayed

Leave A Comment

Grading articles for bias is subjective. We hope that with widespread participation, we can give the reporters and editors at the Boston Globe valuable feedback on their professional work. Here are our suggestions for grading news articles for bias. (We do not rate editorial opinion columns for bias. But we do analyze the Boston Globe for overall editorial balance.)

Consider whether the article is completely free of bias (a grade of 10 or A), has been mostly free of bias (8 or 9, A- or B+), has been biased but not terribly or where the bias did not hurt the integrity of the underlying information (7 or 6, B or B-).

If the article was fairly biased overall, but subtle; or where the bias was particularly prominent but isolated to a single section, give the article a 5 or 4 (C+ or C). If the article was very biased but perhaps not intentionally so, perhaps a C- (3) would be deserved.

If the article was extremely prejudiced with major misstatements of fact, intentionally misleading, or ignored well known facts to advance a false narrative, give the article a D or F (2 or 1).

Reviewers must subscribe to Public Editor and agree to our terms of service to participate. Subscriptions are currently free. We recommend that all readers subscribe to the Boston Globe or the newspaper of their choice to support journalism, and to send the Boston Globe your feedback directly. Thank you for participating in Public Editor’s bias rating project!

Leave A Comment


Rating: 1.0/10.