The Loser of the Week Wasn't Kushner or Seuss, but the Media

Between the revelations of Ivanka Trump’s husband being female and Dr. Seuss being racist, last week was an amazing week for tabloidy mainstream news. Sadly, the media let the American public down yet again, offering cheap journalism, little context, blatant falsehoods, and inadequate corrections.

Let’s start with poor Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior advisor to President Trump.  Wired.com, described by Media Bias Fact Check as a left-of-center media source, reported that Kushner has been registered to vote as a woman since 2009.  Using this fact as the basis for their hatchet job, Wired shreds Kushner with accusations ranging from purposeful voter fraud to sheer incompetency, including this doozy:

“Is Kushner a woman? Did he just accidentally fill out the form incorrectly? Is he the victim of a malicious voter impersonation scheme? Unfortunately, there's absolutely no way to know for sure, because he has yet to provide WIRED with a comment. But based on his recent history with paperwork, option two seems like a pretty safe bet.”

Predictably, the usual media suspects pounced on the “scandal” as breaking front-page news, including CNN and the Washington Post.

Surprisingly, New York Daily News engaged in rudimentary investigation, bothering to track down Kushner’s original voter registration. The result?  Kushner filled out the registration form correctly: The mistake was due to a data entry error by the New York Board of Elections. (Before we give New York Daily News kudos, note it has yet to update their original unflattering post on the story.)

CNN’s rather short piece, which includes two authors plus two contributors, has been updated but still contains specious jabs at Kushner and Trump about inappropriate email use and voter fraud. The Washington Post contains similar nefarious inferences as CNN but manages to go a step further, declaring that “maybe” Kushner was not responsible for the registration error.  Of course, there is no “maybe” about it, as confirmed by Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan, a Democrat.  Furthermore, The Post update is minimally and shoddily edited, with this line duplicated twice within the piece: “Democratic opposition research group American Bridge spotted the error, which was first reported by Wired on Wednesday.”

At least CNN and The Post offered some semblance of a timely correction.  Despite Wired snarkily stating it would be updated with any new information, it took three full days to edit, with the disclaimer that “it has been corrected to remove any implication that Kushner was at fault for the error.” Unfortunately, the piece still includes cheap shots at Kushner, including conjectures of voter fraud, nepotism, and a “chronic inability to correctly fill out boxes.”

Meanwhile, First Lady Melania Trump donated ten Dr. Seuss books to an elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, only to have them publicly rejected by librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, who responded:

“And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature. As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips. Just down the street you have access to a phenomenal children’s librarian: Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress. I have no doubt Dr. Hayden would have given you some stellar recommendations.  Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.”

Clearly, the story here is Dr. Seuss being racist, and the appropriateness of a sanctimonious, lecture-style letter to a sitting First Lady. However, one would never know this based on the reporting of AOL (via Yahoo). AOL only suggests Mrs. Trump “slammed” a librarian whose sole motivation was to supply more contemporary books to less advantaged children. 

Such cherry-picking, meager reporting is astonishing.  No mention of racism.  No mention of Soeiro dressing up as The Cat in the Hat on her school’s twitter blog to help celebrate Seuss’ birthday.  No mention of the Democrat mayor of Seuss’ birthplace saying Soeiro’s "comments stink and are ridiculous."  No mention of previous First Ladies reading Dr. Seuss books to children, including Michelle Obama, or if Soeiro would ever dare write Mrs. Obama a similarly toned rejection letter.  No mention of Soeiro’s responsibility to teach her students how to graciously accept gifts, also considering Mrs. Trump’s letter was addressed to the students, not their librarian.

And most overlooked of all, despite Soeiro imploring Mrs. Trump to contact Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden for book recommendations, there has been no mention of Hayden being pro-Dr. Seuss!  She must be a fan!  After all, Hayden wrote the foreword to the Library of Congress’s recent release, The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasure, described as follows:

“Packed with engaging facts on literary classics -- from Ulysses to The Cat in the Hat to Shakespeare's First Folio to The Catcher in the Rye -- this package is an ode to the enduring magic and importance of books.”

​News readers desire unbiased journalism, not lazy reporting containing partisan taunts aimed at bolstering the “Trump Resistance.”  Read cautiously, folks.

Evan Boudreau is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Daily Caller.  Evan detests social media but can be reached at evanboudreaufeedback@gmail.com.

Between the revelations of Ivanka Trump’s husband being female and Dr. Seuss being racist, last week was an amazing week for tabloidy mainstream news. Sadly, the media let the American public down yet again, offering cheap journalism, little context, blatant falsehoods, and inadequate corrections.

Let’s start with poor Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior advisor to President Trump.  Wired.com, described by Media Bias Fact Check as a left-of-center media source, reported that Kushner has been registered to vote as a woman since 2009.  Using this fact as the basis for their hatchet job, Wired shreds Kushner with accusations ranging from purposeful voter fraud to sheer incompetency, including this doozy:

“Is Kushner a woman? Did he just accidentally fill out the form incorrectly? Is he the victim of a malicious voter impersonation scheme? Unfortunately, there's absolutely no way to know for sure, because he has yet to provide WIRED with a comment. But based on his recent history with paperwork, option two seems like a pretty safe bet.”

Predictably, the usual media suspects pounced on the “scandal” as breaking front-page news, including CNN and the Washington Post.

Surprisingly, New York Daily News engaged in rudimentary investigation, bothering to track down Kushner’s original voter registration. The result?  Kushner filled out the registration form correctly: The mistake was due to a data entry error by the New York Board of Elections. (Before we give New York Daily News kudos, note it has yet to update their original unflattering post on the story.)

CNN’s rather short piece, which includes two authors plus two contributors, has been updated but still contains specious jabs at Kushner and Trump about inappropriate email use and voter fraud. The Washington Post contains similar nefarious inferences as CNN but manages to go a step further, declaring that “maybe” Kushner was not responsible for the registration error.  Of course, there is no “maybe” about it, as confirmed by Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan, a Democrat.  Furthermore, The Post update is minimally and shoddily edited, with this line duplicated twice within the piece: “Democratic opposition research group American Bridge spotted the error, which was first reported by Wired on Wednesday.”

At least CNN and The Post offered some semblance of a timely correction.  Despite Wired snarkily stating it would be updated with any new information, it took three full days to edit, with the disclaimer that “it has been corrected to remove any implication that Kushner was at fault for the error.” Unfortunately, the piece still includes cheap shots at Kushner, including conjectures of voter fraud, nepotism, and a “chronic inability to correctly fill out boxes.”

Meanwhile, First Lady Melania Trump donated ten Dr. Seuss books to an elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, only to have them publicly rejected by librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, who responded:

“And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature. As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips. Just down the street you have access to a phenomenal children’s librarian: Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress. I have no doubt Dr. Hayden would have given you some stellar recommendations.  Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.”

Clearly, the story here is Dr. Seuss being racist, and the appropriateness of a sanctimonious, lecture-style letter to a sitting First Lady. However, one would never know this based on the reporting of AOL (via Yahoo). AOL only suggests Mrs. Trump “slammed” a librarian whose sole motivation was to supply more contemporary books to less advantaged children. 

Such cherry-picking, meager reporting is astonishing.  No mention of racism.  No mention of Soeiro dressing up as The Cat in the Hat on her school’s twitter blog to help celebrate Seuss’ birthday.  No mention of the Democrat mayor of Seuss’ birthplace saying Soeiro’s "comments stink and are ridiculous."  No mention of previous First Ladies reading Dr. Seuss books to children, including Michelle Obama, or if Soeiro would ever dare write Mrs. Obama a similarly toned rejection letter.  No mention of Soeiro’s responsibility to teach her students how to graciously accept gifts, also considering Mrs. Trump’s letter was addressed to the students, not their librarian.

And most overlooked of all, despite Soeiro imploring Mrs. Trump to contact Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden for book recommendations, there has been no mention of Hayden being pro-Dr. Seuss!  She must be a fan!  After all, Hayden wrote the foreword to the Library of Congress’s recent release, The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasure, described as follows:

“Packed with engaging facts on literary classics -- from Ulysses to The Cat in the Hat to Shakespeare's First Folio to The Catcher in the Rye -- this package is an ode to the enduring magic and importance of books.”

​News readers desire unbiased journalism, not lazy reporting containing partisan taunts aimed at bolstering the “Trump Resistance.”  Read cautiously, folks.

Evan Boudreau is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Daily Caller.  Evan detests social media but can be reached at evanboudreaufeedback@gmail.com.

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