It may very well be that this was Glenn Thrush’s editor’s fault, but his article in the New York Times about Donald Trump’s CPAC speech really distorts something the President said. In fact, it distorts it in such a way that the only reason I know about it is that a friend who is a Trump critic sent it to me. Even he notes that though he does not care for the President, the change in the article is “shameful.” In fact, my friend wrote, “I hate Trump and his policies on immigrants but this is a bullsh*t rip quote by Thrush.”
Here is the article from Glenn Thrush, and this is the portion in question where you will notice what part is not in quotation marks from Trump’s speech.
His speech also included a promise to throw undocumented immigrants “the hell out of the country” and a recitation of his law-and-order campaign promises.
But that is not what Donald Trump said and, frankly, given all the concerns about Trump’s immigration position you would think that the New York Times would be noting accurately what Trump did say as a walk back from his past position.
Yes, it is true that in the past Donald Trump has said he was going to throw all illegal aliens out of the country. But at CPAC he did not say that. Here is what he actually said.
By stopping the flow of illegal immigration, we will save countless tax dollars. That’s so important because the dollars that we’re losing are beyond anything that you can imagine. And the tax dollars that can be used to rebuild struggling American communities, including our inner cities. We are also going to save countless American lives. As we speak today, immigration officers are finding the gang members, the drug dealers, and the criminal aliens and throwing them the hell out of our country. And we will not let them back in. They’re not coming back in, folks. They do, they’re going to have bigger problems than they ever dreamed of.
I realize that the President started the speech with a reference to “illegal immigration,” but when it came to “throwing them the hell out of our country,” he was not talking about all illegal aliens. He was specifically talking about “gang members, the drug dealers, and the criminal aliens,” which is something more precise. It is a refinement of Trump’s campaign statements. It is what Barack Obama claimed he was doing.
Thrush sayins the President meant that about “undocumented immigrants” in general distorts what the President said and the focus of law enforcement right now. That matters because the media has perpetuated a bit of hysteria that Trump was rounding up grandmothers right now and tossing them from the country. Based on what is actually happening and by even what the President said, that is not true.
In an age where the media is concerned about fake news, precision matters more than ever. It was not precise to say Trump’s quote applied to “undocumented immigrants” when it pertained only to a specific class — those with criminal records.
Given that Glenn Thrush was twice discovered in the Clinton related email links and portrayed as a Clinton sycophant in the press among conservative media, on top of the distrust already shown to the New York Times by both Republicans in general and the Trump administration in particular, these sorts of distorted generalizations do nothing to earn back media credibility.