The Rushmore Report: Is Journalism in America Dead?

In her daily White House briefing Monday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders got into a bit of a shouting match with CNN reporter James Acosta over the whole “fake news” thing. The mainstream media, of course, claims this is a diversion by the Trump Administration, with no merit. But Tuesday morning, while watching MSNBC on my treadmill, I heard something I couldn’t believe. “Fake news” is real. I offer four recent proofs.

1. MSNBC – Trump didn’t get any more votes than Ronmey.

I nearly fell off my treadmill. Tuesday morning, as I was flipping channels, I watched the MSNBC panel relitigate the 2016 presidential election. One panelist said to the other, “The reason Trump won wasn’t that he increased the Republican vote, but that Democrats didn’t show up to vote for Clinton like they did for Obama.” The other panelist agreed that “the Republican vote did not increase at all, but the Democratic voted was way down.”

Here are the facts. In 2012, Obama beat Romney in the popular vote, 65,915,795 to 60,933,504. In 2016, Clinton received 65,853,516 votes to Trump’s 62,984,825. Here’s the math. While Obama received more votes than Clinton, the Democratic vote was hardly “way down.” The fall-off in votes was tiny – just 0.09 percent. As for Trump not increasing the Republican turn-out, MSNBC was wrong again. Trump’s vote was 3.37 percent higher than Romney’s.

MSNBC called Clinton’s vote (0.09 percent drop-off) “way down,” and Trump’s vote (3.37 percent more) “no increase.” Tell that to the 2,051,321 voters (population of Houston) who showed up for Trump after not voting for Romney.

2. CNN – Trump, Jr. received WikiLeaks email on September 4, 2016.

This matters because CNN claimed Trump, Jr. made use of this leaked information before it was released publicly, to further his dad’s campaign. Just one problem – he actually received the email ten days later – on September 14 – when the substance of the email was already in the public domain. The object of the report, of course, was to paint a collusion between Trump, Jr. and WikiLeaks. Once exposed, CNN apologized for the “honest mistake.” (When President Trump says something inaccurate, it is reported as a “lie,” while CNN’s inaccuracy is an “honest mistake.”)

3. ABC – Trump directed Flynn to make contact with Russian officials before the election.

Journalist Brian Ross pushed this narrative on World News Tonight. Such a move by Trump would have been a violation of the law. Ross’ report resulted in an immediate drop 0f 350 points in the Dow Jones industrial average. When confronted with proof that Trump directed Flynn to reach out to the Russians after he had won the election – not a violation of the law – ABC apologized for the “error” and suspended Ross for four weeks.

4. Gloria Steinem – Trump lost the election by 10 million votes.

I include the Steinem comment, made at a rally two weeks ago, because the media has covered her comments – but has yet to correct them. The pro-abortion feminist actually said that “Trump is not president because he lost by 10 million votes.” First, we have this new thing called the Electoral College. Presidents are elected by the Electoral College, not the popular vote. And they campaign accordingly. That’s why Trump didn’t campaign much in places like Texas, Oklahoma, or Utah. There was no need to run up his vote in reliably Republican states. If you win a state by one vote, that’s as good as a landslide.

Second, Clinton’s popular vote advantage was not “10 million” votes, but 2,868,691. I’m not a mathematician, but that is more than a rounding error. To classify 2.87 million as “10 million” is an intentional misstatement. The media knows it; they just don’t report it.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders had a right to be angry. The problem isn’t that “fake news” exists, but that the media pretends it doesn’t. These are just four examples, snatched from this week’s headlines.


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