There is a golden rule in the mainstream media — when the news day gets slow, just call Donald Trump a racist.
It just so happens that the news cycle was slowing down toward the end of last week — which meant that journalists all around the country were struggling to come up with tweets to boost their social media presence.
Enter the golden rule.
Instead of tweeting about the fact that job growth exceeded expectations last month, or about the Border Patrol’s pleas for more resources, some of America’s most “trusted” political voices decided to resurrect a debunked myth about President Trump.
The legend goes like this: once upon a time, Donald Trump put his bigotry on display by calling asylum-seekers “animals.” Skeptics who remained unconvinced were invited to view a juicy C-SPAN clip in which President Trump seemed to say exactly that.
“We have people coming into the country or trying to come in, we’re stopping a lot of them, but we’re taking people out of the country,” the president says in the video. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”
Time to grab pitchforks and march on the White House? Not so fast. What the clip doesn’t provide is the fill context of President Trump’s answer, which was a direct response to a question about MS-13 gang members who slaughter innocent people in American cities.
In fact, we’ve been through this before. When the mainstream media first spread the false claim nearly a year ago, many publications eventually retracted their social media posts, admitting that the president was referring specifically to MS-13 criminals.
That was a long time ago, though, and memories are apparently short among the biased journalists of the liberal press, because it happened all over again.
The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush, CNN’s Ana Navarro-Cardenas, MSNBC’s Joy Reid, and many others proceeded to retweet or reference the misleading video over the weekend, slamming President Trump for remarks he never made.
“Asylum seekers ‘aren’t people.’ They are ‘animals,’” Reid wrote. “This is particularly frightening language coming out of a person vested with the power of a presidential office.”
It’s a good thing that Joy Reid hasn’t been vested with presidential powers, then, because she’s the source of that “particularly frightening language,” not President Trump.
Faux conservative Navarro-Cardenas, meanwhile, shared a picture of a migrant boy who “was shot in the throat by Ortega’s thugs in Nicaragua,” claiming that he is “seeking asylum in the United States.”
“His name is William,” she continued. “Trump calls him ‘animal’.”
Thrush, for his part, deleted his original post, explaining that he “didn’t really read” the original out-of-context tweet about Trump’s remarks. “Deleting original retweet, but keeping link to data showing low rates of immigrant criminality,” he added.
How did so many professional journalists get fooled by such an easily-discredited claim?Apparently, they just took the word of an inconsequential tweeter who goes by the name Mark Elliott. Evidently, that was all it took to convince some of the most experienced journalists and commentators in the country to repeat a blatant lie about the president.
The mainstream media has lost every ounce of credibility when it comes to reporting the facts about President Trump — and their latest failure to separate fact from fiction on social media proves that they haven’t earned redemption.
Based on their extreme and consistent bias, the golden rule that we should apply with the mainstream media these days is: assume it’s fake news until it’s proven otherwise.
Dr. Gina Loudon, Ph.D. is a bestselling author, columnist, and frequent news commentator. She was a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention and currently serves on the Donald J. Trump for President Media Advisory Board.