The presidential hyperbole train continued its run through America Monday when President Donald Trump, speaking to the U.S. Central Command, claimed that the media was intentionally covering up reports of terrorist attacks.
According to the Washington Post, Trump went off his prepared remarks to make his claim.
“You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe it’s happening,” the president said to the assembled military leaders. “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”
The Post reminds us of Kellyanne Conway’s Bowling Green faux pas from last week, and I once again chuckle at the thought of me realizing why I had friends on my Facebook timeline checking in as “safe” in the massacre. Conway asserted that the massacre, which never occurred in the first place, “didn’t get covered,” and the Post posits that she may have been referring to an alleged “six-month” ban from the Obama administration, which also never happened.
Trump, on the other hand, is saying that the media actively suppresses news of terrorist attacks based on what he imagines is a political agenda.
Trump’s accusation is dangerous. It is yet another dig at the media, building his case for distrust of the institution as a whole, and thereby making himself and his administration the only real source of information you can trust. Doesn’t that sound scary?
As the Post highlights, there is a distinct difference between filtering what gets reported and suppressing information; news organizations have to decide on a daily basis which stories to spend their resources on.
Equally important to realize: What Trump is doing is akin to saying the press is covering up for terrorists, and that, again, is dangerous and wrong.
There is no vendetta against the president. The press is not out to get him; he’s doing a damn good job of looking like a fucking fool all on his own. We simply have to stand by and take notes.
He’s basically doing our work for us at this point between the constant yammering and the Twitter fingers of doom.
From the Post:
With his comments on Monday, Trump implied that the media is complicit in making terrorists successful. It’s part of a recent pattern of suggesting that others are standing in the way of his terrorism-fighting efforts, which includes disparaging a federal judge who halted his immigration executive order.
Oh, and later on, White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave the #AlternativeFacts version of Trump’s statement as follows:
He felt members of the media don’t always cover some of those events to the extent that other events might get covered. Protests will get blown out of the water, and yet an attack or a foiled attack doesn’t necessarily get the same coverage. He’s doing what he can to protect this nation and protect our people. And that’s why I think sometimes the polls don’t reflect what you see on the media. You see a wide degree of support for the president’s policies to protect this country, to create jobs, to grow the economy. And yet, a lot of those stories and success that he’s had—in a mere two and a half weeks in office—aren’t exactly covered to the degree to which they should be.
Spicer then said that the White House would put out a list of these so-called underreported stories, and it made good on that, according to CNN, although some of the attacks on the list have been reported on, like the one in San Bernardino, Calif.
That’s y’all’s president, though.
Read more at the Washington Post.