One member of the mainstream media broke from the pack Friday and supported President Donald Trump for using the term “animals” to describe members of the MS-13 gang.
During an appearance on the WABC radio show “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” NBC host Chuck Todd entered the controversy, which blossomed earlier in the week when multiple media outlets wrongly claimed Trump used the term to describe illegal immigrants.
Of the many outlets to inaccurately report Trump’s comments, The Associated Press was one of the few to publicly back away from its initial report, The Hill reported.
Todd said Friday that Trump was speaking much like the people he serves as president.
“He’s speaking about these violent gang members. A lot of people have called violent anybodys animals,” the “Meet the Press” host said, according to The Blaze.
“Anybody who is a violent criminal in my book can get called an animal if they’re sitting there mauling, killing and raping people,” Todd said. “I don’t care where they’re from. This is not about that.”
Todd, who is not a supporter of the president, said inaccurate reporting harms the media.
“This is where I think that my colleagues do us all harm,” Todd said. “You know, cover this legitimately. There is plenty of legitimate stuff to ding him on, if you think he deserves to be dinged on.”
“Just be careful. Don’t be sloppy about it,” he said.
However, some reporters stood by their outlets’ original reporting, including Maggie Haberman of The New York Times.
Most people if they were actually being taken out of context would find a different way of saying things after the first 100 times, particularly when they are president. So it’s a bit clever to do “boy the media botched this again!”
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 18, 2018
“Most people if they were actually being taken out of context would find a different way of saying things after the first 100 times, particularly when they are president,” Haberman tweeted. “So it’s a bit clever to do ‘boy the media botched this again!’”
Trump tweeted his fury at being misrepresented.
Fake News Media had me calling Immigrants, or Illegal Immigrants, “Animals.” Wrong! They were begrudgingly forced to withdraw their stories. I referred to MS 13 Gang Members as “Animals,” a big difference – and so true. Fake News got it purposely wrong, as usual!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
Fox News host Judge Jeanne Pirro said she agrees with Trump that the mainstream media is working against him.
“Are you surprised?” Pirro said Friday on a segment of “Fox & Friends.”
“If you think about it, the whole point of the media is to make everything they can negative about President Trump,” she said, according to Real Clear Politics. “The media wants so much to destroy Donald Trump, what they’re missing of course, is that America sees the good things he is doing.”
In an Op-Ed for USA Today, Caleb Howe, the former managing editor for Red State, said the focus should be on what MS-13 does, not what Trump said.
“The documentation of the gang’s brutality is long and horrifying. Murder, torture, rape, dismemberment, mutilation. These are heinous acts, and we’re meant to know it. They are committed for that reason, to shock and terrorize, silence and warn. MS-13 means for you to be repelled and horrified,” he wrote.
“Calling the people who commit these acts ‘animals’ doesn’t dehumanize them. Their actions dehumanize them. Just because the president has said bad things about immigrants in the past is no reason to condemn him today,” Howe added. “Whatever you think about the president, it’s not responsible or reasonable to object when the president tells the truth about a brutal street gang.”
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