Media Strikes New Low With False Claim Against Trump
Of all the reasons to dislike Republican presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, the infamous, 'I could shoot somebody and not lose any voters,' statement is not the reason. Why not? Mainly because his words were misconstrued, but also because the media intentionally omitted the central tenant of his remarks: "They say..." only choosing to publish what was worthy of headlines.
The statement was made at a campaign rally in Iowa on Saturday, January 23. In it, Trump alluded to pollsters and their outlandish claims as it relates to his candidacy. What he actually said in full was, "You know what else they say about my people, the polls...they say I have the most loyal people. Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters. Okay. It's like incredible. No they say Trump's voters..." Trump never claimed nor intimated that he believed his influence over voters was so great that he could shoot someone and not suffer a setback. That is absurd, even for Trump.
To present this remark as Trump boasting, or joking about his supporters, is disingenuous. He was merely acknowledging what data collectors say about his large group of staunch supporters. Despite Trump's racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and willful disregard for others as he preys on the hateful prejudices of his followers, the public deserves better from journalists. ONLY the Washington Post practiced some journalistic integrity, with their headline reading, "Donald Trump: They say I could 'shoot somebody' and still have support." But the hoards of other media outlets published headlines and articles with negligible inaccuracies to describe Trump's statement.
The following is an embarrassment to journalism, as they ALL mischaracterized Trump's words:
CNN Politics ran a headline reading: Trump: I could 'shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters' (article by Jeremy Diamond)
Time ran a headline reading: Donald Trump Says He ‘Could Shoot Somebody’ and Not Lose Voters (article by Katie Reilly)
Chicago Tribune ran a headline reading: Trump tells supporter he could shoot someone and wouldn't lose votes
The Guardian ran a headline reading: Donald Trump: 'I could shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters'
Vox ran a headline reading: Donald Trump: I could shoot somebody and not lose any voters (article by Andrew Prokop)
CBS News ran a headline reading: Donald Trump: I could "shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters" (article by Reena Flores)
Politico ran a headline reading: Trump: I could 'shoot somebody' and I wouldn't lose voters (article by Kristen East)
Reuters ran a headline reading: Confident Trump says could 'shoot somebody' and not lose voters (article by Steve Holland and Ginger Gibson)
Variety ran a headline reading: Donald Trump: I Could ‘Shoot Somebody and I Wouldn’t Lose Voters’ (article by Marianne Zumberge)
NBC News ran a headline reading: Trump Says He Could 'Shoot Somebody' and Still Maintain Support (article by Ali Vitali)
NPR ran a headline reading: Donald Trump: I Could 'Shoot Somebody, And I Wouldn't Lose Any Voters' (article by Colin Dwyer)
Talking Points Memo ran a headline reading: Trump: I Could 'Shoot Somebody And I Wouldn't Lose Any Voters' (VIDEO) (article by Caitlin Macneal)
MediaIte ran a headline reading: Trump: I Could Stand on 5th Avenue and ‘Shoot Somebody, and I Wouldn’t Lose Any Voters’ (article by Josh Feldman)
Huffington Post ran a headline reading: Trump Claims He Could Shoot Someone And Not Lose Voters. Damn. (article by Sebastian Murcdock)
The Hill ran a headline reading: Trump: I could shoot people in streets and not lose support (article by Ben Kamisar)
Los Angeles Times ran a headline reading: Donald Trump says he could 'shoot somebody' and not lose voters
All of those headlines represent faulty decision-making in a highly concentrated groupthink profession. Some of the most trusted news organizations and reporters in the world, failed to properly report this incident. That a legitimate media consensus was established is concerning. That the consensus was built by mob mentality journalists spreading misinformation, is an inexcusable travesty. Where should people turn for news when every media source at their disposal is compromised?
Trump continues to run his campaign in his own way. Meaning, he is unconcerned with traditional values of communication. He operates without a script, and mostly without seeking guidance from public relations specialists. Thus, Trump's words typically write their own headlines. There's no need to purposely take his words out of context to fit fabricated narratives.