New York Times And Washington Post Struggling To Stop Giving Trump The Benefit Of The Doubt Today

Today’s top headlines are still Trump-indulgent, for shame.  NY Times: “Trump Says He Misspoke On Russian Role; Under Fire, He Says He Accepts U.S. Reports On Meddling.”  Yes those things happens, but in the very same breath, President Trump said “could be other people also. A lot of other people out there.”  He did not say “what about the 400-pound guy on the sofa in Jersey,” but Trump followers got the message, which is, yeah he said thing A because the lugenpresse and Soros and the Left made him but he also said thing B (the 400-pound guy) to own the libs, and we get it and the elites don’t.

The Washington Post fell into the same trap of indulging the rightwing strategy of getting-dotard-off-the-hook-and-pass-more-tax-cuts-quick.  Their story quoted the “could be other people” message in the first paragraph, but the headline was just as off base as the NYT’s: “Under fire, Trump says he accepts intelligence on Russian interference.”  True as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough.  What part of their own columnist Margaret Sullivan’s advice about giving readers a “truth sandwich” do the Post headline writers still fail to grasp?

P.S. To its credit, CNN (both Brooke Baldwin and Jake Tapper) have dealt skeptically today with Trump’s message, dealing precisely with the issues above.  Note to Marty Baron: I know you are busy, but headlines are very important. To Dean Baquet: it’s not a “great f—ing story” anymore if you eff it up.

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