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Friday, February 24, 2017

Lawrence Solomon: Americans still trust Trump more than the media—and they’re right to


...Trump’s reference to refugees in Sweden at a Florida rally Saturday illustrates why the press is so distrusted. “Trump Alludes to Terror ‘Last Night in Sweden’ That Never Happened,” ran the Vanity Fair headline. “’Last Night in Sweden’? Trump’s Remark Baffles a Nation,” said a bemused New York Times. “Trump’s invention of a Swedish terrorist attack was funny. But it likely comes from a dark place,” decided VOX. “Baffled Sweden asks Trump to explain terror remarks,” ran the Los Angeles Times.

From the headlines — literally hundreds were like these — you’d never know that Trump didn’t invent a terror attack. The press invented it by jumping to an erroneous conclusion. Trump was referring to a TV interview he had seen the previous night on Fox News that described the refugee-related crime wave that hit Sweden. The transcript of his Swedish rally-reference mentions “problems,” not terror attacks: “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this. Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

Why wouldn’t the press have investigated precisely what Trump meant by his reference to Sweden? Partly because journalists are mean-spirited towards Trump. They’re more interested in discrediting him than in understanding his statements. Partly because they’re lazy and subject to groupthink, lacking curiosity and parroting their collective sentiments. And partly because the press was clueless as to the mayhem caused by refugees in Sweden in recent years, because the press doesn’t report news that doesn’t comport with its narratives. Coincidentally, while the press was still mocking Trump for holding up Sweden as an example of refugee-related chaos, a riot broke out in a Muslim suburb of Stockholm when police tried to arrest a drug dealer. The press — true to form — all but ignored the riot...

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