Balance removed from an AP gun rights story
Donald Trump spoke to the National Rifle Association convention yesterday and this morning's Intelligencer used only the first 40% of the Associated Press story -- essentially a summary of Trump's anti-Clinton remarks to the group. What was dropped from the Intelligencer coverage was the AP's explanation of Hillary's position on the issue and the NRA's assessment of the election.
Here are the last two paragraphs from the Intelligencer's page 3 story*:
Trump centered his remarks on Clinton, claiming she would seek to “abolish” the Second Amendment through the Supreme Court and release violent criminals if elected president. He also called her “Heartless Hillary” – a new nickname from the branding expert for the likely Democratic nominee – for backing restrictions aimed at reducing gun deaths, saying her proposals would instead leave law-abiding citizens exposed to criminals.
“She’s putting the most vulnerable Americans in jeopardy,” Trump said. He added that women in particular would be at risk, a nod to what he’s said will be a security-focused appeal to women in the general election.
And that's where the Intelligencer article ends. Here are the next three paragraphs from the AP original report:
Trump heads into the fall campaign with stunningly high disapproval ratings with women. The supremely confident Trump appeared to acknowledge that weakness, saying that while his poll numbers with men are strong, "I like women more than men."
"Come on women, come on," he said.
Clinton's campaign called Trump's gun policies "radical and dangerous." Senior policy adviser Maya Harris said Clinton believes "there are common-sense steps we can take at the federal level to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while respecting the Second Amendment."
The original article then describes her policies. Additionally, by reading the Intelligencer's abridged version a reader would not be aware that the gun organization was less-than-enthusiastic in their endorsement of Trump:
The organization’s leaders were less robust in their endorsement of Trump, mentioning him by name only briefly and saying little about his record on guns. They appeared to acknowledge there may be some reluctance among their members to backing the real estate mogul.
*Note -- No link to the Intelligencer version because I could not find either the Intelligencer or the AP version of this article on their website.
Myer attacks Clinton's coal plan but says nothing about Trump's plan
Today's Mike Myer column is about Hillary Clinton's $30 billion plan for coal and why Myer disapproves of it. He attacks the Clinton proposal and that forces him to advocate a position that, as far as I can remember, he has always attacked(emphasis mine):
Some of the money would be spent to "ensure health and retirement security" - things the government ought to be doing anyway.
(Mike Myer in favor of universal health care? Yeah, right -- what the man won't advocate in order to write an anti-Hillary column!)
And what did Myer say about Trump's position on coal? Nothing. (Wouldn't a more fair-minded columnist have contrasted the two candidates' position on the future of coal and the plight of coal miners and then let the reader decide?) Okay, here is what Trump said about coal:
On Thursday, Trump drew wild applause in Charleston, W.Va., by telling miners in hard hats and reflective stripes to get ready to be “working your asses off” in reopened mines if he’s elected. Some people waved signs saying, “Trump digs coal,” and the business tycoon joked about needing a spritz of hair spray after trying on a miner’s helmet, the gift of an industry group.
“I’m thinking about the miners all over this country,” Trump said. “We’re gonna put the miners back to work. We’re gonna put the miners back to work. We’re gonna get those mines open.”
How? As with a number of his other proposals, Trump was short on specifics and my research found none. Here is Forbes Magazine commenting on whether Trump's goals are realistic:
Well, no, they’re not, for three very good reasons. Firstly, clean coal doesn’t work and there’s serious doubt that it ever will. And even if clean coal can be made to work it will always be easier to perform the same trick with the CO2 emissions from using natural gas instead. But perhaps technological explanations aren’t convincing.
Secondly, there’s easier coal out there than those Appalachian mines like the strip mining out west for example. Once mines have closed you don’t reopen them if cheaper alternatives exist. You might keep running them because of sunk costs, but you don’t start again when cheaper alternatives are elsewhere. But okay, maybe technical stuff from the world of mining also isn’t convincing.
The third reason is the killer: economics. Fracking has made natural gas cheaper than coal for power generation. Thus new generations of power plants are going to be gas ones, not coal. And refurbs and life extensions of coal plants aren’t going to happen for the same reason. There’s just not going to be anything like the same market for thermal coal in the future.
We’re not going to use as much coal in the future and the coal that we will use isn’t going to come from the Appalachian mines. Trump simply isn’t going to bring back all those mining jobs. They’re gone, gone forever. . . . The thing to do now is to work out what other task that same labor can do.
Forbes' critique of Trump's plan for coal is similar to a number of other sources. I used it because it is a conservative, business-oriented magazine. Note that the final sentence would seem to endorse the Clinton plan.
Re-writing a column's headline to make it about Hillary
Below Myer's column is a syndicated column by an Intelligencer's regular, Pat Buchanan. The column is about efforts by Mitt Romney and others to stop the nomination of Donald Trump. Here's the column's title that's found in other publications:
Is Mitt on a Suicide Mission?
The title makes sense because that's Buchanan's perspective on what will happen if Trump is not the nominee or if some Republicans support a third party effort. Hillary Clinton is not the focus of the column -- she isn't even mentioned until 3/4 of the way through the column. But the Intelligencer needs to make Clinton the focus so here's the title that the Intelligencer attached to the column:
Clinton's Fifth Column
A large percentage of readers will not read the column but they will absorb the title. Mission accomplished.
Update 5/22 -- More of the same
Sunday's front page of the News-Register carried only the first half of the Associated Press' "White Women Are Skeptical of Trump." Included in what they carried is the following:
Trump insists he's "going to do great with women." He's accused Clinton of playing the "woman's card" in her bid to become the first female commander in chief. He's said he will link her aggressively to past indiscretions with women by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
However, the News-Register dropped the following from the original AP story:
And Trump has his own complicated past regarding women and has faced criticism for his actions both in his personal life and at his businesses toward them. He's vigorously defended his treatment of women, as has his daughter Ivanka Trump, who said her father "has total respect for women."
Yes, more of the same.