It takes a real kind of low to go after the First Lady.
Newsweek faced criticism over a Tuesday tweet that seemingly misrepresented Melania Trump’s decision to remove the historic Jackson Magnolia that’s been in place behind the White House since the 1800s.
A White House official told CNN that the First Lady gave the order after consulting with specialists at the US National Arboretum, who said the tree is “compromised” and must be taken down quickly.
A document presented to Mrs. Trump indicated that the tree is a safety hazard.
“The overall architecture and structure of the tree is greatly compromised and the tree is completely dependent on the artificial support. Without the extensive cabling system, the tree would have fallen years ago.
“Presently, and very concerning, the cabling system is failing on the east trunk, as a cable has pulled through the very thin layer of wood that remains. It is difficult to predict when and how many more will fail.”
The magnolia was planted in 1829 under US President Andrew Jackson as a memorial to his deceased wife. It even appeared on the $20 bill from 1928-1998. Mrs. Trump will honor the tree by having its wood preserved.
The Newsweek tweet failed to note the safety considerations or expert opinions that informed the First Lady’s decision, giving the impression she decided to remove a centuries-old historical tree on a whim.
This led to many on Twitter blasting Newsweek for allegedly spreading “fake news.”
— Dan Scavino Jr. Archived (@Scavino45) December 26, 2017
Another Newsweek headline doing nothing for the credibility of the news industry as a whole. This headline is grossly misleading… https://t.co/73m7vWaj8Y
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) December 26, 2017
SPOILER ALERT: The tree is dangerous and falling down. Melania is not trying to wreck history. https://t.co/DpfPioIWf5
— Ashe Short (@AsheSchow) December 26, 2017
Another BS Newsweek tweet. Your story reflects the truth, that this decision was made after consulting with experts. With 280 characters there’s no excuse for this…. https://t.co/F60Dhf64yj
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) December 26, 2017
Experts said the tree was dead and dangerous and recommended it come down but by all means keep being click whore trash Newsweek. https://t.co/CgWrihAO55
— Chris Barron 🇺🇸 (@ChrisRBarron) December 26, 2017
Some Twitter users used the hashtag #TreeGate to describe Newsweek’s tweet.
Newsweek headline total lie & flagrant anti-Trump bias. Headline – "MELANIA TRUMP ORDERS REMOVAL OF NEAR-200-YEAR-OLD TREE FROM WHITE HOUSE" Story – "The tree was about to fall, and experts recommended its removal" #TreeGate https://t.co/HprniA7fjz by #ed_hooley via @c0nvey
— Mohamad Hassan (@siragsoft) December 27, 2017
— Hurricane Watcher – Back The Blue, No Excuses (@FreedomFriesInc) December 27, 2017
In an age when “fake news” is heavily scrutinized, outlets should know misleading tweets about the First Lady aren’t going to fly by unnoticed.