CNSNews.com reporter Melanie Arter was helping her favorite stenography client, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, out of another Trump-instigated mess -- his tweet that perhaps the government should "take away credentials" of journalists that write things he doesn't like -- in May 9 article. Arter regurgitated Sander's insistence that the White House believes in afree press, and then pretty much stay in stenography mode later in the article:
The press secretary said it’s the media’s responsibility to report accurate information and pointed to a New York Times report accusing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of being AWOL when he was really securing the release of the three Americans from North Korea. She also pointed to a Washington Post report, which accused first lady Melania Trump of not living in the White House.
“At the same time, the press has a responsibility to put out accurate information. Just yesterday, the New York Times accused the Secretary of State for being AWOL -- AWOL -- when he was flying across the globe to bring three Americans home. That is an outrageous claim,” Sanders said.
“Just earlier this week, The Washington Post accused the first lady of not living in the White House. That outrageous claim was then repeated again in this room,” she added.
If Arter had bothered to fact-check Sanders -- something she's loath to do -- she would have found that Sanders' claims were, shall we say, less than truthful.
The word "AWOL" appears nowhere in the New York Times article Sanders is bashing. The article accurately points out that former secretary of state Rex Tillerson was "thousands of miles away" when Trump announced his intention to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and that current secretary of state Mike Pompeo, was "again thousands of miles away, this time on an unannounced visit to Pyongyang" when Trump announced "what could be the most significant diplomatic announcement of his presidency — that he would exit the Iran nuclear agreement." The Times alsoreported that such absences "left perplexed European diplomats privately complaining that they were having trouble getting answers from Washington, and created an uncertainty about what was next that spanned the Atlantic Ocean." While it was later revealed that Pompeo was trying to secure the release of three Americans imrpisoned in North Korea, that was not a done deal at the time the article first appeared.
Sanders got the Post article she attacked completely wrong. It never claimed that Melania Trump doesn't livein the White House; toward the end of the lengthy article -- which focuses on her daily routine and her unusual distance from her husband as a presidential spouse -- it notes that Melania not living in the White House has been a "persistent rumor," then immediately quotes Melania's spokeswoman and the White House social secretary denying it.
And not questioning anything Sanders says, even when it's misleading or even false, is a big part of Arter helping her do cleanup.