Donald Trump Says These Are the Biggest Stories the Media Has Ignored
During his time on the campaign trail and in office, Donald Trump has made it his modus operandi to attack the media. Some Americans love that about the president. Others hate it. But Trump doesn’t show any signs of dropping his war cry of “fake news.” Neither does he seem to want to stop his criticism of the media’s mistakes. And he doesn’t seem likely to rethink his own relationship with the truth. Trump also seems unlikely to drop his (often-satirized) habit of accusing the media of not reporting the real news and ignoring the biggest stories.
Below, check out the biggest stories that Donald Trump thinks the media buried, under-reported, or flat-out ignored.
10. Crowds of supporters
In the kerfuffle over the size of Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd, Trump and his administration claimed that the spectators in attendance at the event constituted the largest inauguration crowd ever. That didn’t turn out to be true. But Trump hasn’t dropped it. Or at least not entirely.
The president still believes that the media doesn’t devote enough attention to the crowds of supporters who greet him at various events. Early in 2017, Donald Trump tweeted, “Just leaving Florida. Big crowds of enthusiastic supporters lining the road that the FAKE NEWS media refuses to mention. Very dishonest!”
Next: Donald Trump thinks that journalists don’t talk enough about this kind of news.
9. Positive news about tax bills
Donald Trump has often accused the media of ignoring his victories. As Fox News reported early in 2018, the president tweeted, “So many positive things going on for the U.S.A. and the Fake News Media just doesn’t want to go there. Same negative stories over and over again!” Trump seemed to want journalists to spend more time reporting on the “4.2 million hard working Americans [who] have already received a large Bonus and/or Pay Increase because of our recently Passed Tax Cut & Jobs Bill.”
Similarly, the president complained late in 2017 that the mainstream media “barely covered” the Senate’s passage of the 2018 budget. Trump tweeted about the victory, “This now allows for the passage of large scale Tax Cuts (and Reform), which will be the biggest in the history of our country!”
Next: The president didn’t think the media spent enough time covering this.
8. The rallying economy under the Trump administration
Vanity Fair reported in early 2017 that the stock market had “rallied more since Donald Trump was elected than for any other new president since Lyndon B. Johnson.” Despite investors’ worries about what the publication characterized as Trump’s “protectionist leanings” and “erratic behavior,” that was an impressive milestone.
But as he took credit for the market rally, Donald Trump also complained that journalists didn’t give him enough lip service for the accomplishment. The president tweeted, “The fake news media doesn’t like talking about the economy. I never see anything about the stock market.” As Vanity Fair put it, Trump was saying that “the media doesn’t report on stock market surges, despite wall-to-wall coverage of stock market surges.”
Next: Donald Trump thinks the media missed this big story.
7. ‘Leaks coming out of Washington’
A record number of officials have departed from the Trump administration. (Some had more humiliating exits than others.) Journalists have reported extensively on what happened each time somebody resigned or got fired. But when national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned, Donald Trump complained that journalists had missed the real story.
As The Hill reported, Flynn’s resignation came after weeks of controversy. (You probably remember the allegations that Flynn misled senior White House officials about his communications with Russia.) But the president saw a different angle. Trump tweeted, “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?” Fortunately, major news outlets have done a lot of reporting on why that could be.
Next: The president thinks journalists and investigators alike missed this story.
6. Voter fraud
Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed journalists for failing to report on voter fraud. He once tweeted, “why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!” As CNN notes, “Study after study has shown that allegations of widespread and/or coordinated voter fraud simply isn’t a thing.” But Trump didn’t trust those studies. And Vox reports that the president formed a commission on the issue.
The commission eventually met its demise and ultimately had no impact on voting laws. But you could argue that Trump is right in claiming that the media missed the real story here. A Media Matters analysis did note that few reports mentioned gerrymandering, acknowledged the impact that voting restrictions had on the 2016 election, or otherwise investigated the tools of voter suppression.
Next: The president and vice president want more coverage on this.
5. Law-abiding gun owners
Donald Trump has made some memorable statements on gun control. (Don’t forget his proposal to arm teachers in order to prevent school shootings.) But one of the most unforgettable statements came to us from the Trump administration courtesy of Trump’s second-in-command, Mike Pence. The vice president accused the media of reporting only on negative stories about gun owners. The implication? Journalists suppress the positive news.
Esquire reported that Donald Trump and Mike Pence “played all the hits” at a 2018 National Rifle Association meeting in Dallas. They blamed the media for “working an agenda very different from those of us here in this room.” Pence explained, “they focus on the tragedies and the heartbreak, as well they should. But all too often, many in the national media all but ignore what happens when well-trained, law-abiding gun owners save lives.”
Next: Trump thinks the media needs to talk more about this.
4. Barack Obama’s uranium deal with Russia
Donald Trump has had a lot to say about what NPR termed “the alternative ‘Russia scandal.'” The president claimed that as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton approved the sale of a mining company to Russia. Trump said the sale gave Russia control of 20% of U.S. uranium. And in exchange, Clinton got $145 million in pledges and donations to the Clinton Foundation. The claim was proven false. (The deal wasn’t Clinton’s to approve. And there’s no evidence that uranium went to Russia.) But the president still berated the media for ignoring the story.
As Fox News reported, Trump criticized the “fake media” for ignoring the uranium deal. He tweeted, “Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!”
Next: The president also wants more headlines about this issue.
3. Hillary Clinton’s ‘crimes and Russia relations’
Similarly, Donald Trump has repeatedly blasted the media for ignoring what he thinks is a huge story: Hillary Clinton’s ties to Russia. As The Atlantic reported mid-2017, the president implied that investigators — as well as the media — had ignored Hillary Clinton’s “crimes and Russia relations.”
The Atlantic explained, “As Trump’s troubles deepen — as they continue to do, both politically and legally — he and his defenders have ever more frequently invoked Hillary Clinton as an excuse and a distraction.” As the publication explained, “This is a familiar rhetorical technique called ‘whataboutism‘: Any flaw or critique is parried by pointing to some other individual’s own sins, imagined or real, equal or worse.” The Atlantic adds, “The technique is a logical fallacy, since one person’s crimes do not excuse anyone else’s.”
Next: Trump thinks journalists are missing the real story here.
2. The real Russia story
Russia’s Facebook ads seem to have played a real role in the 2016 election. But Donald Trump, understandably, doesn’t like that narrative. As The NY Post noted, Donald Trump thinks that the media has ignored the “real Russia story.” That real story? The goal of Russia’s disinformation campaign wasn’t just to elect Trump.
Retweeting selected tweets by vice president of Facebook ads Rob Goldman, Trump publicized Goldman’s remarks that “The main goal of the Russian propaganda and misinformation effort is to divide America by using our institutions, like free speech and social media, against us. It has stoked fear and hatred amongst Americans.” But Trump glossed over most of that. He tweeted, “Funny how the fake News Media doesn’t want to say that the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for President. Maybe they knew I was going to run even thought I didn’t know!”
Next: Donald Trump thinks that journalists refuse to report about these.
1. Acts of terrorism
Donald Trump said that the media “doesn’t want to report” on acts of terrorism. He claimed, “They have their reasons, and you understand that.” The only problem with that statement? There’s no evidence that journalists ignored terrorist attacks in the United States, Europe, or elsewhere. The Atlantic characterized Trump’s claim as “baseless.” The publication noted that, in fact, “the media love reporting on terrorism stories, following the old news adage that “if it bleeds, it leads.”
The White House went on to release a list of 78 terror attacks that it claimed didn’t get sufficient coverage. But The New York Times noted that the list “includes dozens of attacks that were covered heavily in the news media.” The publication added, “Just as striking was what the list excluded: attacks targeting Muslims, who make up the overwhelming majority of victims of Islamist terrorism.”
Next: This is a story that both the media and the president tend to ignore.
Bonus: Both Donald Trump and the media have ignored climate change
Finally, we found a story that Donald Trump could legitimately accuse the press of ignoring: climate change. But that might be tough for him to do. As The New York Times concedes, the media has been ignoring climate change — but so has Donald Trump.
The New Republic reports, “the media has essentially stopped covering climate change.” But meanwhile, the Trump administration reacts with hostility to discussions of global warming, according to The New York Times. The president famously rescinded an Obama-era order that urged federal agencies to account for climate change when rebuilding infrastructure. Trump also rescinded policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions. And he withdrew from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
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