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Tuesday, September 5, 2017
MRC Tries to Put Words In Trump's Mouth
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro complained in an Aug. 27 item:

With the remains of Hurricane Harvey still threatening the communities and lives of the people living along the coast of Texas, the liberal media still couldn’t put their obsession with President Trump aside. In a segment of CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday, host Brian Stelter wanted to talk about Trump’s description of political journalists as “sick people” from earlier in the week. But his panel twisted Trump’s words to connect them to those reporters covering the hurricane and those in war zones.

Wait a minute. Trump never specifically said he was singling out "political journalists" in his Phoenix speech, nor did he specifically exclude non-political journalists; he repeatedly refers to "the media" throughout the speech. Trump's reference to "sick people" was arguably framed as an attack on journalists who criticize his tweets, but even that did not specifically single out "political journalists."

Which means Fondacaro is putting words in Trump's mouth, insisting that his criticism of "the media" is limited to only national political journalists when he has never specifically made that distinction.

He went on to complain about the "conflation between the national political reporters and local news people" when, again, Trump has never specifically excluded "local news people" from his repeated attacks on "the media," concluding that the "Reliable Sources" panelists "politicized a natural disaster, which had taken lives, for political gain." How so? By defending the honor of journalists from a critic who's using a broad-brush smear?

Fondacaro went on to complain that one "Reliable Sources" panelist pointed out that Sean Hannity wasn't on the ground in Houston, "while ignoring the fact that Sean Hannity was just a political commentator and not a journalist." But Hannity has, in fact, called himself an "advocacy journalist" earlier this year, and he said he was a "journalist" in 2008 when he was relentlessly attacking Barack Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 PM EDT

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