As Twitchy told you yesterday, journalist and NYU professor (can NYT pick ’em or what?) Ian Bremmer landed himself in scalding hot water by fabricating a Donald Trump quote:
After Trump called Bremmer out on Twitter:
.@ianbremmer now admits that he MADE UP “a completely ludicrous quote,” attributing it to me. This is what’s going on in the age of Fake News. People think they can say anything and get away with it. Really, the libel laws should be changed to hold Fake News Media accountable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2019
Bremmer issued a half-assed apology:
My tweet yesterday about Trump preferring Kim Jong Un to Biden as President was meant in jest. The President correctly quoted me as saying it was a “completely ludicrous” statement. I should have been clearer. My apologies.
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) May 27, 2019
But why should Bremmer apologize at all? It’s not as if he has to worry about the media truly holding him accountable for what he did. Just look at how the Washington Post is covering it:
A political scientist caused confusion when he made up a Trump quote. The president noticed. https://t.co/uQoBuRU9eN
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 27, 2019
— johncharles (@johncharles) May 27, 2019
That’s one way to put it.
— Dancin bfinstock (@BarryDancing) May 27, 2019
Great work, WaPo, on the framing here. 🙄
— Melek Ortabasi (@MOrtabasi) May 27, 2019
WaPo coming up w/ clever ways to do the "Republicans pounce" thing https://t.co/S17YtnvLgX
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) May 27, 2019
Nice to see they’re expanding their repertoire when it comes to blame shifting (while also going out of their way to avoid referring to Bremmer as a journalist).
— STOP THE INSANITY! (@Sanity_Only) May 27, 2019
Because he lied
— Mariellen (@mommariellen) May 27, 2019
The correct verb is defamed.
— JJ Mitch (@JJMitch234) May 27, 2019
"caused confusion" = @washingtonpost lingo for "set off a wave of fake news by the usual suspects in our fake news media who always mindlessly retweet anything they think is damaging to @realDonaldTrump without taking a moment to verify its source." https://t.co/H8TKqw4WeQ
— David Blackmon (@GDBlackmon) May 27, 2019
Caused confusion? He flat out made it up and posted it as if it were accurate. And, this is not just some-nobody twitter user. He has over 400,000 followers. He's an idiot. There is a reason some people talk about "fake news."
— Lovin'Life (@LakeLifeIsGreat) May 27, 2019
It was the purest definition of #FakeNews
— Jeff Garrett (@jeffgarrett1999) May 27, 2019
WaPo’s Eli Rosenberg goes out of his way to avoid condemning Bremmer, but he does find time at the end to bring the focus back to what we really need to take away from this:
Trump, who has made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims while in office, according to The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, has long said that he would like to change U.S. libel laws, which shield defendants from guilt unless they are proved to have made false and defamatory statements against public officials with malicious intent.
Donald Trump spews plenty of garbage (though we wouldn’t mind seeing the work that led to that “more than 10,000” count from the dubious WaPo Fact Checker), but we fail to see what that has to do with the fact that Ian Bremmer intentionally sought to sow discord by spreading a lie and then trying to justify that act of gross journalistic malpractice.
Bremmer’s stunt, and the subsequent mental acrobatics by WaPo to minimize its awfulness, is why people don’t trust the media.