How Media Timidly Downplays & Enables Trump’s Ugly Racism

The only way to resist Trump’s firehose of Orwellian lies is to loudly, repeatedly and publicly call them lies.

By Amanda Marcotte
Salon (7/19/19)

With plodding predictability, we’re now supposed to believe that Donald Trump is unhappy with racist chants by his followers and true believers. And that’s after he spent the better part of the past week defending and doubling down on his use of a classic white supremacist demand that people of color should “go back” to wherever their ancestors came from.

Resisting Trump’s efforts at gaslighting and manipulating the media requires reporters and editors not to give more weight to his walk-backs than to the heavy loads of racism that get dumped before and after his reluctant efforts to pretend he didn’t mean it.

The evidence suggests Trump’s use of the “go back” trope over the weekend was a spontaneous reaction to a race-baiting Fox News segment he was watching on TiVo. But despite the apparent impulsiveness behind it, over the next few days Trump and his team spun his behavior as a deliberate communications strategy. Aides called up reporters under the veil of anonymity to claim that this was all part of Trump’s master plan to win the 2020 election. No doubt Trump himself believes this, since Fox News keeps egging him on at every turn. Republican politicians and right-wing pundits got to work denying that Trump’s racism is racism and instead trying to frame his critics as bad-faith poseurs.

As inevitably happens when Trump goes full white nationalist, there’s a point where it becomes clear he can’t contain the backlash, so with great fanfare (and visible reluctance) he walks it back. As usual, there is absolutely no reason to believe Trump’s walk-back. Even more important, there’s no reason to think Trump’s supporters believe in the sincerity of his walk-back either. …

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Here’s An Example Of Mixed Media Reporting

By Mark L. Taylor
The Commoner call (7/22/19)

So a Friday (7/19) HuffPost story is an example of two hits and a miss with confronting Trump hate and lies.

The headline got it right: Trump Lies About Congresswomen Of Color Referring To ‘Evil Jews’

The subhead even got it right: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar have never made the comments the president claims they have.

But then in the story we have this [emphasis added]:

CNN’s fact-checker Daniel Dale was quick to point out what appeared to be blatant lies in Trump’s comments.

“None of them have said that,” Dale tweeted, referring to Trump’s claim about “evil Jews.” 

Dale added: “Omar once tweeted that Israel has committed ‘evil doings.’”

There was no “what appeared to be” … Trump out-and-out lied … again.

The good thing is at least they had it right in the headline and subhead, which is only how far many readers get into  a story