A lot has been made of a non story about the removal of a bust of Martin Luther King from the White House oval office after Donald Trump moved in.
It has been cited as an example of dishonest reporting and fake news, with some going as far as blaming ‘the media’, but it was far less than that.
It was one Time journalist (Zeke Miller) with one tweet (which he has deleted), and when his error was pointed out to him he corrected himself:
Trump’s press secretary:
That is an ongoing problem with instant reporting via social media.
For the record, the MLK bust dust-up never attained the status of a “big story” in the media. Zeke Miller corrected his error — via Twitter — within an hour of making it — via Twitter. There was never any published story to retract.
This didn’t stop Trump elevating it as a story in his CIA speech. Slate reports:
Trump then got specific and berated a Time magazine journalist by name for writing an inaccurate eport claiming Trump had removed the Martin Luther King Jr. bust from the Oval Office. “So Zeke from Time magazine writes the story,” Trump said. “But this is how dishonest the media is.” (The reporter has already publicly apologized.)
And then the president went on to brag about the number of times he has been on the cover of Time.
As far as I’m aware there was no story written by the Time reporter. It seems to have been Trump making up that story.
And this probably suits Trump. Hasn’t he just signed away Obamacare or something? And didn’t he mention something about maybe going back to Iraq and taking their oil?:
From Foreign Policy:
At one point, Trump regurgitated parts of his stump speech about how the United States “should have kept the oil” after invading Iraq. “Maybe we’ll have another chance,” he added. Aside from being physically impossible to sequester billions of barrels of underground oil, that would constitute a breach of international law. U.S. troops are currently embedded with forces of the country that Trump suggested again invading.
Reaction on Fox News:
Krauthammer: “The point is that when you become the president of the United States, your words…they are incredibly important, you can say one sentence and the dollar will lose its value…”
Baier: “Well for example, when he said that [we] should have taken the oil from Iraq and maybe we’ll have another shot at it…I mean, if you’re Iraq, you’d raise your eyebrows.”
Hemingway: “Again though…people in America are wanting us to not just be careful about which wars we fight, but when we fight them, win them…That’s a message that goes over extremely well with people.”
Baier: “I get that, Mollie. But words matter. They do matter.”
Krauthammer: “Pondering the oil is a war crime.”
Video clip here.