Yellow Journalism: A dishonest claim about Trump 'storming out' on a coronavirus question
The press has a lot to answer for in its coverage of the coronavirus — stoking fear, claiming chaos that isn't there, and blaming President Trump, whose response to the pandemic has been exemplary.
Here's one, from the U.S. edition of the Daily Mail:
President Donald Trump has not been tested for the novel coronavirus, the White House revealed in a statement late Monday, even though he has been in contact with a slew of politicians who have gone under self-quarantine.
The president refused to answer repeated questions on whether he had been tested or not for the virus during a press conference earlier on Monday.
Vice President Mike Pence said he hadn't been tested and wasn't sure if Trump had been, but promised to give an answer to that question later in the evening.
'The President has not received COVID-19 testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms,' White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
Ryan Saavedra of the Daily Wire reports that they actually claimed (language warning) that he "stormed out" of the room, describing what really happened:
This is total bullshit— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 9, 2020
He was asked as he was walking out of the room
No one "stormed" out of the room https://t.co/QpuQOLmHmh
Helps to have some witnesses in the room. Assuming that Saavedra is right, what a dishonest bit of sensationalism in such "journalism." And apparently, the Daily Mail has changed the wording since the criticism.
Whether it was from a desire for clicks, leftist bias, or just having nothing to report and making things up, it's not an honest characterization of the events.
It's also problematic because it's part of a string of biased incidents from the press. They're trying to panic the public. They're cheering the driving of markets down. Some of them are hoping for a recession. They're claiming chaos (I'm looking at you, 60 Minutes), when there is none. Some of them have misreported President Trump's characterization of Democrat criticism of his response as a "hoax" into claims that Trump thinks the whole thing is a hoax, a false picture if there ever was one, given that Trump was acting very early in halting the spread of the coronavirus last January, in the throes of impeachment, as well as shutting down travel from China, something that brought the raaaacism-mongers out of the woodwork. In the past, this stoking of emotions was known as "yellow journalism." The only thing they aren't doing is telling the truth.
This goes a long way to explaining why the press is no longer trusted by the public. And sure as sunrise, they will try something else, anything to stoke the sense of panic, even though President Trump's response to the virus has been so good even California's far-left-and-otherwise-hostile Gov. Gavin Newsom is praising him.
The one thing that can be done is to call them out. Kudos to Saavedra for doing that. It's good to know that there are a few honest journalists still out there.
Image credit: Library of Congress, public domain.