If you follow national news, you’ve probably noticed that lately there have been some not-so-subtle changes in the coverage of President Trump's statements and speeches. For most of his presidency, the mainstream media have allowed Trump to make-up evidence, lie, and distort without much fact checking. The few corrections were usually reserved for separate fact-checking articles or later reporting. Even then, those fact-checks were relegated to back pages (if they were even carried) or not given nearly the time devoted to the president’s initial utterances (see CNN, for instance). Lately, however, whether because of a newfound commitment to truthfully presenting the news or the knowledge that Trump’s days in office are numbered (I’ll go with the latter), national media appear to be calling the President's lies what they really are: lies.
Yesterday, President Trump released a 46-minute tape on the presidential election results. Trump called the speech “the most important speech” of his presidency. Here’s a small sample (I dare you – try to get through all of it):
Here is the lede from today's New York Times coverage of the speech:
President Trump on Wednesday released a 46-minute videotaped speech that denounced a “rigged” election and was filled with lies the day after his own attorney general joined election officials across the country in attesting to his defeat.
And from the Washington Post:
Escalating his attack on democracy from within the White House, President Trump on Wednesday distributed an astonishing 46-minute video rant filled with baseless allegations of voter fraud and outright falsehoods in which he declared the nation’s election system “under coordinated assault and siege” and argued that it was “statistically impossible” for him to have lost to President-elect Joe Biden.
Similarly, from the Associated Press:
Increasingly detached from reality, President Donald Trump stood before a White House lectern and delivered a 46-minute diatribe against the election results that produced a win for Democrat Joe Biden, unspooling one misstatement after another to back his baseless claim that he really won.
Trump called his address, released Wednesday only on social media and delivered in front of no audience, perhaps “the most important speech” of his presidency. But it was largely a recycling of the same litany of misinformation and unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud that he has been making for the past month.
Not all media took part, however: Fox News,reverted mostly to form by headlining:
Trump says if he's right about election fraud, 'Biden can't be president'
But even that article included the following quote from Trump’s attorney general:
“to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
Predictably, today’s Wheeling Intelligencer, which could have carried the AP report, had no reports on Trump’s “most important speech.”