At Media Bias Has Real Consequences

21 Sep , 2018  

Dr. John Lott has a new piece at on how even a very smart person gets taken in sometimes by media bias.

Media bias has real consequences. Ohio’s wealthiest supporter of the Republican party, Leslie Wexner, has withdrawn his support because he was ‘ashamed’ by President Trump’s response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Wexner announced his decision on Friday, just a day after former President Obama gave a speech in Ohio where he attacked Republicans who “try to shield and deflect oversight of [Trump’s] behavior.”

A lot of smart people seem to have fallen for the mainstream media’s lies about Trump’s comments. NBC News’ coverage of Charlottesville last year was all too typical: “On Tuesday [August 15th, 2017], Trump gave a freewheeling press conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan in which he doubled down on the remarks he made Saturday blaming ‘many sides’ after a car plowed through a group of counter-protesters who were demonstrating against an alt-right and white nationalist rally. He also equated white supremacists on the right to the ‘alt-left.’”

Obama kept repeating these claims in his speeches this month: “We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination, and we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers.  How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad?”

Even as events were unfolding in Charlottesville on August 12 of last year, President Trump said: “we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” On August 14, Trump called neo-Nazis and other white supremacists “repugnant to everything we hold dear.”. He again elaborated the next day: “And you had people, and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.” All three of those quotes were given before the NBC News piece quoted above.

So where were the fact-checkers when Obama suggested that Trump has difficulty condemning Nazis?

Wexner was quoted after Obama’s talk: “I was struck by the genuineness of the man; his candor, humility and empathy for others.”

Obama attacks Trump for dividing Americans, when that is what the former president is doing himself. Trump hasn’t accused Democrats of sympathizing with monstrous, genocidal ideologies.  In his Nelson Mandela Lecture in July, Obama talked of “rabid nationalism and xenophobia and doctrines of tribal, racial, or religious superiority” and “right-wing billionaires.” Trump has never called his opponents “rabid.” . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.

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