Over the weekend, Donald Trump had an increasingly angry and deranged response on Twitter to Jill Stein’s decision to have the vote recounted and audited in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, after Hillary Clinton’s campaign decided to join the effort. The Clinton team has no illusions about a recount changing the outcome, and it will not contribute financially to it, but since Stein has gone to the effort, Clinton’s team decided to at least send out some lawyers to oversee the effort and make sure it’s conducted fairly.
Trump was displeased, going on a lengthy tweet meltdown on Saturday night and Sunday morning, railing against Clinton for the “hypocrisy” of not accepting the vote. He doubled down later in the day, and began suggesting not only that there was fraud in three states that he lost, but that he actually won the popular vote if you discount the millions of illegal votes.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4—— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
This is obviously untrue, and based purportedly on some bullshit Infowars article with absolutely no merit whatsoever. Ironically, however, the allegations made by Trump bolster Stein’s decision to audit the vote.
But this isn’t about Trump’s tweets, because anyone with half a brain knows what’s going on here. Trump is attempting to gaslight America. No, this is about how Trump’s Twitter lies should and should not be reported, and how the Wall Street Journal played right into Donald Trump’s hands with a headline on the front page.
Here’s how the Times reported the story:
I might have preferred, “Donald Trump, Who Is a Lying Sack of Shit, Claims Millions Voted Illegally, Citing No Evidence,” but this will do.
This will not:
That is the exact wrong way to report this story, and Twitter let the WSJ have it.
@WSJ Breaking: Wall Street Journal loses its credibility with dipshit headlines.— Mo Gaffney (@mogaffney) November 28, 2016
@WSJ fix this before it comes out. You're literally already a laughing stock… don't make it worst.— Greg Stevens (@gregstevens) November 28, 2016
@WSJ This is an irresponsible headline. He didn't "take aim", he baselessly accused based on fake news. Call a lie a lie.— Joe (@j0e_j0e_j0e_j0e) November 28, 2016
@WSJ "President-Elect Trump Lashes Out in Wake of Calls for Recounts, Makes Baseless Claim That Millions Voted Illegally". There. I fixed it— Drew Gibson (@SuppressThis) November 28, 2016
.@WSJ STOP EQUIVOCATING.— Luke Matthews (@GeekElite) November 28, 2016
@WSJ You misspelled "Giant pile of human shit lies again"— The Saurus (@TheSaurus831) November 28, 2016
Hi @WSJ! Quick question: Are you members of the free press or post-truth agents of propaganda? That's helluva cowardly headline you've got.— Eric Lane (@ericlane) November 28, 2016
The Wall Street Journal apparently listened and changed their headline online, at least. But the new headline isn’t any goddamn better.
This is the kind of journalism that led to the election of Donald Trump in the first place.
We can’t stop Donald Trump from lying for the next four years, but at least the media can appropriately call out the lies.
Hat Tip: Robert Lloyd
Reminder: We try to avoid the use of Donald Trump photos on the site. Today’s header image comes from Rectify because, my God, that latest episode! You can follow Dustin on Twitter.