NY Times Discovers Trump Support Is Unwavering If You Purposefully Ask Unwavering Trump Supporters
Wow! Who would have thought!?
Now that Nancy Pelosi has announced an official impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, the New York Times spoke to voters around the country to see what they thought of the proceedings. And–shocker!–everyone still feels the exact same way they did last week. Democratic voters’ reactions range from excitement to exhaustion, while Republicans still think it’s the witch hunt Trump and Fox News tell them it is.
This sort of both-sidesing in nothing new. In fact, this was the NYT’s front-page headline yesterday:
What does that headline mean? pic.twitter.com/7JCFPYDM26
— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) September 25, 2019
But the public opinion article is especially maddening. In a tweet which she has since deleted and corrected, one of the reporters behind the story framed it as being focused on “swing voters,” all of whom were “repelled” by impeachment, but it’s not just one tweet. The article is clearly angled to give the impression that this is a random sampling of voters that represent America, when that is not at all the case.
The article says that they spoke to “Republican supporters of Mr. Trump, as well as some moderates who had crossed over to vote for him in 2016.” But these aren’t regular moderate Republicans, as the article positions them. Not only are they diehard Trump supporters–one woman named Trisha Hope has been to twenty-three Trump rallies and published a book of Trump’s tweets!–but as pollster Matt McDermott pointed out on Twitter, they’ve been interviewed by the NYT so many times before this. They’re basically unofficial Trump surrogates at this point.
One woman, Donna Burgraff, is presented as a “registered independent … who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 before swinging to Mr. Trump.” But last year she told the Times that she voted for Trump (she said she knew he was racist and hated women but liked the extra $400 a month his tax bill gave her, so it’s nice to know what price she put on her integrity) and that she was planning to vote Republican in the midterms.
Reggie Dickerson thinks impeachment is “an absolute joke.” Last year, he told the Times that he didn’t like Trump but wanted to reap chaos. He said he was voting “to upset the fruit basket.” He said this in front of a framed portrait of Robert E. Lee he has hanging in his home.
The NYT article also includes an interview with Reggie. Reggie was highlighted in an AP story last year entitled ‘In the heart of Trump country, his base remains unshaken.’ Reggie has a portrait of Robert E. Lee hanging in his living room.
No, Reggie is not a swing voter. pic.twitter.com/3TD6OJw9oO
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) September 26, 2019
And then, of course, there’s Trisha, who has somehow found time to go to twenty-three Make America Great Again rallies in cities around the country. This is at least the third time she’s been interviewed by the Times.
By the way, the New York Times isn’t the only outlet to do this. CNN has repeatedly gone back to a group of women that are part of a pro-Trump coalition dedicated to promoting him through media appearances, but presents them as just regular Republican voters.
Crazy how CNN’s “randomly selected woman Republican voters” keep turning up the same people pic.twitter.com/xKKaYzDJHL
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) July 17, 2019
The New York Times published this “swing voter” article the same day they ran that “both sides” headline up above, as well as an op-ed from Bret Stephens claiming impeachment is only going to drive away centrist Democrats and “end up helping the president.”
For what it’s worth, Americans weren’t immediately onboard with Watergate investigations while that was unfolding. Hell, Nixon won his reelection after the first arrests were made! Even as his role in the scandal was becoming clear, more than half of Americans still said they didn’t care.
Yes, it’s very, very important that Trump not be reelected (not to mention that Republicans lose the Senate and don’t regain the House), but the New York Times doesn’t need to push the narrative that impeachment will automatically drive voters away from Democrats, and they definitely don’t need to be using these Trump fanatics as some sort of poorly contrived evidence of that theory.
Stories like this in reputable newspapers matter immensely. They shape narratives. They persuade elected leaders at the very highest levels of government. But they’re also wildly misleading. These aren’t random swing voters that should have a platform in the New York Times.
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) September 26, 2019
(image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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