Trump and Media

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      Trump and Media

      In the Trump era, there's been a lot of worthy, aggressive journalism probing every facet of his administration and its alleged missteps. But there's also been a series of mistakes and fact errors by top news organizations, which may itself be historic in nature. Earlier this year, the President named what he sees as top offenders in his Fake News awards. Some of his examples tracked with ones we, too, identified while researching this report on what we think is one of the biggest stories of Trump's Year One.

      It's perhaps the biggest media miss of President Trump Year One.

      Erin Burnett: The Trump presidency from what we've seen could be dire, you think, for example, stocks could crash which is a significant thing to say. How bad could it be?

      Mark Cuban: I can say with 100 percent certainty that there is a really good chance we could see a huge, huge correction.

      Alison Kosik: It is better than the expected market nose-dive that's predicted if Trump wins.

      Melissa Lee: According to our next guest a Trump presidency could be catastrophic for stocks.

      CNN declared a Trump victory would be America's Brexit and shock U.S. and global markets. Politico agreed. Quite a few people predicted that in the unlikely event Donald Trump were elected president the stock market would crash.

      Peter Morici: Well, the reality is the stock market's doing great because the economy's doing great. Corporate profits are up a lot. The market's not overvalued and if growth continues we can expect another great year in 2018.

      Economist Peter Morici says that's the real story. Instead of a Trump Slump - an historic Trump Bump.

      Sharyl: How could some people have been so wrong, among them some economists who study this sort of thing?

      Peter Morici: Well let's face it, most economists work at liberal universities or for the government and they have a stake in the Republican Party establishment or the Democratic Party. Donald Trump is an outsider.

      The consummate outsider found a media reluctant to report good news about him.

      President Trump: We will make America great again.

      Sharyl: Have you ever seen anything like what's happened during Trump's first year?

      Sesno: There's more coverage of the President than we've ever seen before.

      Frank Sesno used to cover the White House for CNN and the Associated Press. He now heads the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University.

      Sesno: The New York Times has seven reporters assigned to the White House. When I covered the White House I think the New York Times had two. All right? So every word every tweet, every movement, every inconsistency, every outrage whatever is tracked in real time and in multimedia fashion. And so, unfortunately, some of these things have led to mistakes.

      The die was cast inauguration day when Time Magazine and others falsely reported that a Martin Luther King bust had been moved out of the Oval Office. Not true.

      In February, media outlets criticized Trump as the first President to call Black History Month African American History Month. Actually, Every U.S. president since 1976 had done the same, including President Obama.

      In May, reporters wrongly claimed Trump wasn't listening to a translation of his Italian host's speech because he wasn't wearing big headphones. But as usual, he was wearing a single earpiece for translation in his right ear.

      May brought the New York Times bombshell, President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey after Comey had asked for more resources to investigate Trump Russia ties. The FBI and Justice Department officials later testified that was false.

      Andrew McCabe: I believe we have the adequate resources to do it and I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately.

      Major news outlets were certain Trump was lying when he Tweeted he'd been told three times that he wasn't under FBI investigation.

      Benjamin Wittes: I would bet every dollar that I had that no such communication ever took place. It's simply inconceivable to me.

      But the opposite proved true. Comey said he had told President Trump he wasn't under investigation, three times.

      Comey: That's correct.

      In June, CNN had to retract a sensational story about a Trump aide meeting with a Russian businessman.

      CNBC: CNN accepted the resignation of three of its journalists involved with the piece.

      Sesno: Look there is no question that much of the media much of the world has assumed the worst about the Trump presidency and has been all too quick to seize upon that when events indicateand sometimes when events don't indicate that that is the case.

      But in December, a cascade. ABC retracted a scoop about supposed collusion between Trump and Russia but not before it triggered a stock market plunge.

      CNN botched a report about President Trump's son getting special inside info from WikiLeaks, also wrong.

      And Bloomberg's blockbuster, that Trump financial records had been subpoenaed in the Russia probe, was picked up worldwide, before it was corrected.

      The media remained eager to point out Trump's inaccuracies, while seemingly oblivious to our own.

      Stelter: All year long I heard anchors, editors, and reporters reaching for new ways to say that's not true and that makes no sense.

      Carl Bernstien: Look, reporters, journalists make mistakes. Our record as journalists in covering this Trump story and the Russia story is pretty good, especially compared to the record of Donald Trump.

      Sharyl: Some in the media have used what I call a "Him,too" defense when addressing our mistakes and false reports. I don't think it's a good enough excuse to say Yeah, we're making some mistakes but he's making a lot of mistakes too. What's your view on that?

      Sesno: I think no defense is an adequate defense today. Stories should be as air tight as possible. Mistakes are going to be used to undermine the credibility of any news organization any reporter needs to know that they're working in a hothouse that hasn't existed before where all eyes are on them.

      Sharyl: Do you think some of these big media misses by major news organizations like The New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, ABC, risk overshadowing some very good journalism and reporting that was done on this president the first year any time there is a mistake?

      Sesno: Any time there is a screw up any time there is bad information, it risks the credibility of the organization where that mistake is made. I do think that there have been some real unfortunate stories from places like the New York Times and CNN where particular increments of the story have been gotten wrong. But most of the larger stories remain intact. I think there's been terrific reporting terrific reporting over this past first year of the Trump administration of the machinations inside, of some of the Internet in warfare, of the role of Steve Bannon and Kelly and others. There has been unbelievable turnover in this administration and a lot of good journalism about that.

      Still, the media misses have given President Trump plenty of ammunition.

      President Trump: Did you see all of the corrections the media has been making? They're saying sorry. They've been doing that all year. They never apologize. Maybe that comes with being the president, I don't know.

      Sesno: Have the media played into the narrative of the Donald Trump disaster presidency? Yes, they have. But they have been supported by frankly a president that has encouraged that through incredible turnover at the White House, policy mistakes and misstatements, tweets that are careless and often ignorant. And so to just point fingers at the media, mistakes and all, is unfair when we have an administration that plays so fast and loose with the facts.

      Sharyl: I call that the "Him, too" defense.

      Sesno: I'm not using that to let the media off the hook. Part of the job also should be to note, report, accomplishments and give the president or the governor or the mayor whoever is in charge their due. There's been less of that with this administration and partly it is because of the "Him, too defense." Look at how egregious the President is. Look at how egregious Sarah Huckabee Sanders is and what she's saying. Well, there's something to that. There's something to that.

      Recently, a journalism think tank called the Neiman Lab released a survey showing a continuing a steep increase in the percentage of Americans who think the news media is biased. 45% now think there is 'a great deal' of political bias in news coverage, up from 37% just five years ago.