Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Here's Fox, making up a story

The Fair 'n' Balanced Network is usually rather good at covering its tracks, fibwise, but for some reason it gets careless when Massster is in the spotlight. Here's a fresh example from Monday:

President Trump was asked why Dr. Anthony Fauci, who works for his administration, has a high approval rating on the handling of coronavirus but Trump himself does not. “It can only be my personality,” the president said.

“I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci,” Trump said at a White House coronavirus briefing Tuesday. “I agree with a lot of what he’s said.”

Trump said that “for the most part” his administration has done what Fauci has recommended.

"He's got this high approval rating—so why don't I have a high approval rating, and the administration, with respect to the virus?" Trump continued. He touted the administration’s work on testing, PPE supplies and producing ventilators.

"Nobody likes me. It can only be my personality. That's all,” the president said.

Everything after the first sentence is true -- not very accurately assembled (there's some unmarked snippage that makes Trump sound fractionally more coherent than he is), but true. Here, though, according to the White House, is what Trump "was asked":

Q: On that note, Mr. President, last night, in tweets that were deleted by Twitter, you said that Dr. Fauci misled the country about hydroxychloroquine.  How so?

THE PRESIDENT: No, not at all.  I think — I don’t even know what his stance is on it.  I — I was just — you know, he was at the — he was at the task force meeting a little while ago.

I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci. ...

In other words, the lede is bogus. It's not a case of the press sharing Trump's obsession with approval ratings, which would be a little snippy if true. ("Mr. President, lots of Faber coeds say Dr. Fauci is the only Delta they'd go out with.") It's a question about why Trump shared, and then deleted, derogatory claims about Fauci. Which might be a small thing in the context of the rest of Trump's performance, but still -- it's the lede, you guys.

As a rule, you should avoid lying about things people can check. Fox may be slipping a bit as the election draws near.

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