The cheering and shouting had not even quieted down, nor had the balloons finished dropping from the ceiling inside the convention hall before the media’s chosen spin on Donald Trump’s acceptance speech became clear: he’s using “debunked claims” to present a “dark vision” of America.
But is the media playing fast and loose, and simply trying to demonize The Donald? It’s a legitimate question, considering this story at Legal Insurrection.
For example, the Associated Press seems to ding Trump for his statement that, “Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s 50 largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years.”
“While FBI crime statistics for 2015 are not yet available,” the AP Fact Checker states, “Trump’s claim about rising homicides appears to come from a Washington Post analysis published in January. While Trump accurately quotes part of the analysis, he omits that the statistical jump was so large because homicides are still very low by historical standards. In the 50 cities cited by the Post, for example, half as many people were killed last year as in 1991.”
During the Watergate era, this is known as a “non-denial denial.” The only statistic that matters is the body count in those big cities, and it is up. Take a look at how the New York Times Fact Checker reported Trump’s assertion.
“Those statistics are based on one analysis of preliminary crime data released by the Justice Department, and they accurately reflect what officials say is a spike in murders in some big cities,” the New York Times acknowledges. “It leaves out the drop in others, like New York City, which saw a 25 percent drop in homicides in the first three months of 2016.”
Trump said, “The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year.”
The New York Times Fact Checker argues that because Trump didn’t define this as the number killed in intentional shootings, in Dallas, Baton Rouge and other communities, he is mistaken.
The newspaper admitted, however, that “It is true that there has been a spike in police deaths from intentional shootings, 32 this year compared with 18 last year,” but it seems a begrudging acknowledgement.
Then comes the capper. Near the end of his 76-minute speech, Trump asserted that, “My opponent wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment.”
The AP response: “Hillary Clinton has not proposed any revocation of the constitutionally protected right to bear arms. She does support a ban on certain military-style weapons, similar to the law President Bill Clinton signed in the 1990s. That ban expired after 10 years and was not renewed. Clinton also backs an expansion of existing criminal background checks to apply to weapons sales at gun shows. The checks now apply mainly to sales by federally licensed gun dealers.”
Apparently the AP has decided to ignore Clinton’s statement, caught on audio, at a private event last year during which she said this: “The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, and I’m going to make that case every chance I get.”
If she gets a chance to stack the Supreme Court with anti-gun justices, they could choose a case to reframe the Second Amendment. Trump made it clear he would nominate a justice with the same philosophy as the late Antonin Scalia to fill Scalia’s empty seat.
Watch how the media continues to portray Trump’s acceptance speech as “dark” as if to set the stage for contrasting next week’s Clinton acceptance speech as “uplifting” and “bright.”