by WorldTribune Staff, July 18, 2017
Snopes.com has published an article that it says “is intended as a neutral, reliable analysis of the lies, false allegations and misleading claims made about and against Donald Trump since his inauguration in January 2017.”
The favorable report from the fact-checking website, which many conservatives say leans far to the left, “bolsters Trump’s Twitter rants against ‘fake news,’ ” Rowan Scarborough wrote for The Washington Times on July 17.
“We’ve attempted to strip away the hyperbole, name-calling and generalizations, and examine the patterns and trends at work: what characterizes these lies and exaggerations, the effect they have, what might explain them,” Snopes said.
Snopes headlined its article, “The Lies of Donald Trump’s Critics, and How They Shape His Many Personas”. The article was written by Dan MacGuill, whom Snopes describes as a “journalist and fact-checker from Dublin, Ireland.”
While avoiding rabid anti-Trump reporting by The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN, Snopes mentions a few mainstream media errors, such as Politico reporting that the president signed a kid’s hat at the White House Easter egg roll but then carelessly tossed it to the crowd. Video showed he tossed it directly to the owner.
Also cited is a Newsweek report that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “evaded” Trump’s “notorious bone-crunching power handshake” by hugging the president instead. Missing from the account, said Snopes, is the fact that hugging is how Modi likes to greet fellow world leaders.
Snopes did not cite other, more serious mainstream media errors, such as Time’s report that Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King form the Oval Office when he had not.
Or the New York Times’ report in February that said Trump aides and “senior Russian intelligence officials” had repeated contacts in the year leading up to the election. Trump’s team denies this, as did a more neutral source – former FBI Director James Comey.
Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, asked Comey: “Would it be fair to characterize that story as almost entirely wrong?”
“Yes,” Comey said.
It would “be virtually impossible for Snopes to cover all the inaccurate anti-Trump stories, as listed by conservative news sites,” Scarborough noted.
Snopes noted that “another major strand of falsehood about the President is the one that feeds into his persona as a bumbling fool, prone to accidents and devoid of any cultural sophistication,” Snopes said.
In March, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny attended the annual St. Patrick’s Day White House visit. Recognizing America’s long friendship with Ireland, Trump read what he said was one of his favorite proverbs: “Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.”
The press immediately pounced, saying the president cited as an Irish proverb words written by a Nigerian poet.
Snopes pointed out that Trump never identified the words as coming from Ireland. The president used it to support his lead-in: “As we stand together with our Irish friends.”
Snopes said: “The entire episode is a remarkable example of something bordering on collective hallucination, most likely brought on by confirmation bias. Here hundreds of thousands of people – including professional journalists working for influential news organizations, and a chat show host with more than three million nightly viewers [Stephen Colbert] – literally heard Trump say something he never said, in most cases probably because it confirmed a pre-existing image of the President as a poorly read, culturally ignorant buffoon.”