The liberal media abandoned an immigration story this past week as soon as it didn’t become disadvantageous for President Donald Trump.
Well, whatever. You get used to that kind of stuff in this day and age.
What you don’t get used to, however, is a presidential candidate tweeting the story after it was retracted and casting blame on Trump when he had nothing to do with it.
A quick primer: Earlier in the week, an arm of the United Nations reported that 100,000 children were being detained by the United States on immigration-related offenses, according to The Daily Caller. Detaining children for immigration offenses is illegal under international law.
That was quickly seized upon by the liberal media, and why wouldn’t it be? It made the Trump administration look terrible. The numbers certainly seemed to be legit. Why not write about this, particularly from a Trump-centric angle?
However, news organizations immediately lost interest in the story after the United Nations issued a correction Tuesday, the day after most of the stories ran, saying that 100,000 number was from 2015, not 2019. That was the most recent year for which numbers were available, it said.
The president in 2015 was Barack Obama, which made the story significantly less juicy to the media. Barack the Great, after all, would never do such a thing, right? That’s why we didn’t hear much about those drone strikes back in the day.
While some news agencies updated the story to reflect the current reality of the story, others just deleted it. Reuters was one of those that decided to just do away with the story Tuesday.
Also Tuesday, after Reuters had retracted the story, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders — or, at least, someone on his campaign — decided to share it on Twitter and blame it on Trump.
There were four boxes, one each for Botswana, Sri Lanka, Mexico and (the correct answer, of course) the United States.
“Under Trump, America leads the world in locking up little kids — including 100,000 children at the border,” the senator said. “This is immoral.”
It was, although not the way Bernie might have thought. See, his account was linking to the Reuters story, but where it used to be. It had been replaced by a message about the retraction.
“A Nov. 18 story headlined ‘U.S. has world’s highest rate of children in detention – U.N. study’ is withdrawn. The United Nations issued a statement on Nov. 19 saying the number was not current but was for the year 2015. No replacement story will be issued,” Reuters said.
This was obnoxious enough — the outlet didn’t find it particularly newsworthy if it didn’t involve Trump, I guess — but Sanders tweeting something that had clearly been identified as fake news was especially problematic given that, well, I thought we were all supposed to really hate fake news.
Yes, this was, in fact, immoral, although not for the reasons that Sanders thought that it was.
First, this was all about smearing Donald Trump without checking out the source material. If someone had checked on it, they’d have seen the message. Problem solved.
Second, it’s worth noting that the number of detained children has decreased, assuming the 2015 figures and the U.S. government’s current statistics are accurate. The Associated Press, which did a follow-up story to its original piece, found that 69,550 children had been held in detention over the last year.
Now, it remains to be seen whether the methodology was the same, but if so, that means Trump has reduced child detentions. Is that true? We don’t know, given the nature of the studies — but it’s not going to stop candidates like Sanders from tweeting them, now, is it?
Yes, Bernie deleted the tweet. That isn’t the point. In what universe should this have even gone out?
If this is what feeling the Bern means, I’m sure we’d all prefer to remain somewhat chilly.
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