Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham was feeling quite satisfied in a March 15 post:
The Washington Post published a rather stunning correction on Thursday, on an old January 9 story by reporter Amy Gardner on Donald Trump's phone call to Frances Watson, the chief investigator for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger.
This correction did not appear in Friday's print edition of the Post...or Saturday's, or Sunday's. You would have had to go back to this January 9 article's link to find it.
What happened is that in January, the Post published an article detailing a call from Trump to Watson, as detailed by an anonymous source. When a recording of the call was released two months later, the Post corrected claims originally attributed to Trump that turned out not to be accurate: "Trump did not tell the investigator to 'find the fraud' or say she would be 'a national hero' if she did so. Instead, Trump urged the investigator to scrutinize ballots in Fulton County, Ga., asserting she would find 'dishonesty' there. He also told her that she had 'the most important job in the country right now.'"
Graham went on to lecture that "Anonymous sources are not always reliable!" -- which, of course, does not keep the MRC from citing them when politically convenient -- addinfg: "This newspaper insists they are the Truth against the 'Big Lie' of election fraud. But they were so convinced Trump's resistance to the election results was evil, they were snookered by a source who told them just what they wanted to believe."
Nicholas Fonbdacaro followed up by ranting: "Over two months after the rest of the liberal media latched onto a Washington Postreport claiming then-President Trump called up a Georgia election official and ordered them to “find the fraud,” the paper admitted they were peddling fake news. But with the rest of the media scrambling to make the corrections in their online copies of the story, ABC News and PBS, who talked about the now-debunked order on-air, refused to give corresponding corrections to their viewers Monday."
In his March 20 column, Jeffrey Lord huffed, "Actually The Post story was more than incorrect. It was flat out false, replete with a made-up out of whole cloth, entirely fictitious “quote” from Trump," adding, "The Washington Post story was really about the liberal narrative that Donald Trump is a bad guy, so bad that The Post can even make up utterly bogus quotes to try and make their point."
Of course, Lord has no evidence whatsoever that the Post deliberately made up quotes about the Trump call. But that's not the only reason the MRC's criticism of the Post is disingenuous and deceptive -- it seems that the MRC is using the Post correction to deny that Trump ever tried to push Georgia election officials to overturn the election.
This flies in the face of reality, given that we already had the full audio of the phone call Trump made to Raffensperger -- which, curiously, none of these MRC writers mention. And even with the correction, Trump's call to Watson is far from exonerating, attempting to flatter and cajole Watson by claiming that "The people of Georgia are so angry at what happened to me ... They know I won, won by hundreds of thousands of votes. It wasn’t close," and that "When the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised." The Post's correction isnot the huge discrediting deal Graham and the MRC want you to think it is -- it's a relatively minor correction that doesn't change the fact that Trump improperly tried to influence Georgia election officials for the purpose of overturning an election he lost.
Further: The MRC's manufactured outrage over the Post's correction is laughable given that the MRC still hasn't told its readers that the Fox News story it heavily promoted before the 2016 election that an indictment of Hillary Clinton was imminent was retracted a few days later.
Unlike the MRC, he Post made an effort to correct the record. Graham and Co. could learn some lessons from that.