Two months later, the Washington Post issued a correction to a January story reporting that former President Donald Trump instructed Georgia’s lead election investigator to “find the fraud” during a phone call.
State officials reportedly located an audio recording of the call in a trash folder on a device belonging to Georgia Secretary of State chief investigator Frances Watson, the Post explained.
“The recording revealed that The Post misquoted Trump’s comments on the call, based on information provided by a source,” the correction said. “Trump did not tell the investigator to ‘find the fraud’ or say she would be ‘a national hero’ if she did so. Instead, Trump urged the investigator to scrutinize ballots in Fulton County, Ga., asserting she would find ‘dishonesty’ there. He also told her that she had ‘the most important job in the country right now.'”
Trump released a statement on the correction and took it to the media for its one-sided coverage.
“While I appreciate the Washington Post’s correction, which immediately makes the Georgia Witch Hunt a non-story, the original story was a Hoax, right from the very beginning,” the release said. “I would further appreciate a strong investigation into Fulton County, Georgia, and the Stacey Abrams political machine which, I believe, would totally change the course of the presidential elections in Georgia.”
INBOX: Trump statement on Washington Post correction: pic.twitter.com/vTcKSI1gEN
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) March 15, 2021
“You will notice that establishment media errors, omissions, mistakes, and outright lies always slant one way—against me and against Republicans. Meanwhile, stories that hurt Democrats or undermine their narratives are buried, ignored, or delayed until they can do the least harm—for example, after an election is over,” Trump said. “Look no further than the negative coverage of the vaccine that preceded the election and the overdue celebration of the vaccine once the election had concluded. A strong democracy requires a fair and honest press. This latest media travesty underscores that legacy media outlets should be regarded as political entities—not journalistic enterprises.”
The real travesty is what many are overlooking about the story, as explained by the Washington Examiner’s T. Becket Adams, who said “the real scandal is that a bunch of newsrooms claimed at the time they ‘confirmed’ the details of the ‘scoop’ with their own [anonymous] sourcing.”
Adams proceeded to note that this includes ABC News, NBC News, and USA Today. CNN and PBS NewsHour were also cited.
ABC News reported “an individual familiar with the matter confirmed” Trump urged the chief investigator to “find the fraud,” telling this person they would be a “national hero” for it.
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) March 15, 2021
All of which makes a tweet from David Shafer, chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, all the more interesting.
In effect, the party chairman laid the blame on the doorstep of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
The Secretary of State’s office secretly recorded the conversation, mischaracterized its contents to The Washington Post and then attempted to delete the recording. It was recently discovered in a laptop “trash” folder as part of an open records search.
— David Shafer (@DavidShafer) March 15, 2021
Talk about audacity, Washington Post’s fact checker Glenn Kessler weighed in on Trump’s statement to note that the former president’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State was the article cited in the impeachment article.*
This being a separate call than the call to Watson, backed up by audio — which is not to say that the media did not mischaracterize what was said on that call.
The Washington Post’s reporting on Trump’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State –undisputed, as the audio tape was obtained from the start — was the article cited in the impeachment article. Trump naturally pretends otherwise. https://t.co/f0KXSqrJTL
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) March 15, 2021
The tweet serves as a weak attempt to deflect focus away from the real story.
Flipping the script on Kessler, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway did a little fact checking on her own.
1) Horrifically inappropriate first response from the paper’s own “fact” “checker.”
2) The inaccurate story *was* cited by Democrats in their impeachment brief (page 10).
3) Trump didn’t mention impeachment in this statement.
But other than that, sure.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) March 15, 2021
In another tweet, she remarked on how thoroughly we are “screwed” by a corrupt media.
“Our media are so, so, so breathtakingly corrupt,” Hemingway wrote. “They *always* mischaracterized this call — in a corrupt and fraudulent way. But to actually make up quotes in service of that? We are so screwed. By our disgustingly corrupt and unaccountable media.”
The Daily Caller’s Henry Rodgers provided the receipts to further disprove Kessler’s assertion.
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) March 15, 2021
The reaction to the story was pretty intense, here’s a quick sampling from Twitter:
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) March 15, 2021
President Trump was right. Fake news!
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) March 15, 2021
I realize that the real fireable offense these days is declining to cancel a chick on The Bachelor hard enough, but maybe this could be up for consideration, too.
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) March 15, 2021
Trump was right.
The Washington Post doesn't have sources–they just make shit up.
— thebradfordfile (@thebradfordfile) March 16, 2021
I don’t know what makes Glenn so shameless. Is it a game ?
— PINT (@P_I_N_T) March 15, 2021
Is fiction writing an elective in schools of journalism, or is it a requirement for the degree?
— Grandpa jenkins (@Grandpa_jenkins) March 15, 2021
Glenn’s happily going to go down with the @washingtonpost ship when it’s destroyed from within.
— The Rabid Cat (@battlecat847) March 15, 2021
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