Yesterday, Donald Trump claimed to have gotten Sprint to bring 5,000 jobs back to America. This claim is false; the jobs have been coming for months. But a lot of media instantly published Trump’s claim, many with Trump as the sole source and no reporting or fact-checking whatosever.
Trump and Sprint simply put out PR and everyone rewrote it. Sprint ignored inquiries from reporters who figured it out, only admitting that the jobs were “previously announced” after the company became the story and things started getting hot.
When I reached out to a Sprint spokeswoman asking if the announcement was a direct result of working with Trump or part of a pre-existing deal, she copy and pasted the press release I’d sent along with my first email. I responded saying I already had the press release and asked again if this was a direct result of working with Trump or part of a pre-existing deal in place. I tagged Sprint in a tweet about the situation, and it wasn’t until after that started getting retweeted that the spokesperson responded.
“This is part of the 50,000 jobs that Masa previously announced,” she said. “This total will be a combination of newly created jobs and bringing some existing jobs back to the U.S.”
This is how it’s going to be: he lies, and reporters instantly launder the statement into impartial-sounding headlines in the rush to be first. The excuse will be that stenography is journalism.
Get used to this sort of thing:
Trump Takes Credit for Sprint Plan to Add 5,000 Jobs in U.S.
Trump: Sprint moving 5,000 jobs back to US
Trump Declares Victory: Sprint will create 5,000 U.S. jobs
The New York Times is the only one with a fig-leaf (“takes credit”) whose wording winks at the fact that it’s hogwash. Some, such as CNN and WaPo, use language that implicitly validate Trump’s claim.
Fox News and the Daily Mail do their thing:
Trump announces 8,000 more jobs for American workers
Trump announces 8,000 new jobs for Americans