• New York Times’ Widely Panned Review Of Trump’s Immigration Focused Day Receives Heavy Edits After Publishing

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    The New York Times’ front page story on Donald Trump’s trip to Mexico and subsequent immigration speech was sharply denounced by reporters who said its positive tone did not match reality. Following the publication of the article and criticism from the press, the Times made numerous edits to the article.

    Following Trump’s widely criticized speech on immigration where he painted immigrants as murders, criminals running free, and “low-skilled workers with less education” taking jobs from citizens, the Times’ Patrick Healy published a glowing review of Trump’s “audacious attempt .. to remake his image on the divisive issue of immigration,” calling Trump’s trip to Mexico and subsequent speech a “spirited bid for undecided American voters to see him anew.” The original story read, in part:

    Donald J. Trump made an audacious attempt on Wednesday to remake his image on the divisive issue of immigration, shelving his plan to deport 11 million undocumented people and suggesting that the United States and Mexico would solve the immigration crisis together.

    In a spirited bid for undecided American voters to see him anew, Mr. Trump swept into Mexico City to make overtures to a nation he has repeatedly denigrated, then flew to Phoenix to outline his latest priorities on immigration — a stark turnaround from the “deportation force” and other severe tactics that helped win him the Republican nomination.


    On a more personal level, Mr. Trump also wanted to show undecided voters that he had the temperament and self-control of a statesman — qualities that many doubt he has — and also demonstrate that Americans did not need to worry every time he opened his mouth in a foreign country. He also hoped to show that he could acquit himself well on the world stage, something that is a clear strength of Mrs. Clinton, a former secretary of state, senator and first lady.

    After the article was published online, it was widely panned by reporters who said that its author had “apparently watched a completely different immigration speech” and produced a “systematic failure.”

    Following the criticism, heavy edits were made to the article without acknowledgment of the changes, including deleting the claim that the speech constituted a “sharp turnaround” from his previous rhetoric and added discussion of Trump’s failure to clarify his position on a variety of immigration-related issues. Additions included:

    Yet the juxtaposition of Mr. Trump’s dual performances was so jarring that his true vision and intentions on immigration were hard to discern. He displayed an almost unrecognizable demeanor during his afternoon in Mexico, appearing measured and diplomatic, while hours later he took the stage at his campaign rally and denounced illegal immigrants on the whole as a criminally minded and dangerous group that sows terror in communities and commits murders, rapes and other heinous violence.

    Mr. Trump also fervently tried to depict himself as an ally of average workers, saying their economic interests were far more important than the needs of undocumented workers. But he left unclear what would happen to those millions of illegal immigrants, saying only that “the appropriate disposition of those individuals” will take place at some future date after the criminals are deported and his border wall is built.

    By contrast, a Times editorial published online the same day criticized Trump’s speech and immigration proposals as “empty words strung together and repeated,” “brutally simple,” and “reverie of immigrant-fearing, police state bluster”:

    It’s ridiculous that Donald Trump’s immigration proposals — not so much a policy as empty words strung together and repeated — should have propelled him as far as they have. This confounding situation hit peak absurdity on Wednesday.

    It started with Mr. Trump’s meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, in Mexico City. It was surreal because Mr. Trump has spent his entire campaign painting Mexico as a nation of rapists, drug smugglers and trade hustlers who would have to pay for the 2,000-mile border wall that Mr. Trump was going to build. But instead of chastising Mr. Trump, Mr. Peña Nieto treated him like a visiting head of state at a news conference, with side-by-side lecterns and words of deferential mush.


    In a strident speech given over a steady roar of cheers, he restated his brutally simple message: Criminal aliens were roaming our streets by the millions, killing Americans and stealing our jobs, and he’d kick them all out with a new “deportation force,” build the wall and make America safe again.

    The speech was a reverie of immigrant-fearing, police-state bluster, with Mr. Trump gushing about building “an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern border wall,” assailing “media elites” and listing his various notions for thwarting evil foreigners. He said the immigration force might deport Hillary Clinton.


  • CNN Fact-Checks Trump's False Claim That America Is Full Of Criminal Immigrants

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the September 1 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:

    DON LEMON (HOST): Donald Trump laying out his immigration plan in a speech tonight in Phoenix. Now, our CNN Reality Check team takes a look, here is our Tom Foreman. What do you have for us, Tom?

    TOM FOREMAN: Hey Don, you know the central theme of all of this, a big theme, was that among all the undocumented people in this country, there are a lot of dangerous criminals.


    FOREMAN: 2 million. That is a whopping number, but analysts say to get to that number of criminals among this population, you basically have to count every possible infraction including traffic tickets. Maybe it is more realistic to look at this number from the Migration Policy Institute.

    1.4 million people on the priority list for apprehension for more serious offenses, or maybe you should even look at this number, 690,000 convicted of felonies or serious misdemeanors. That's another estimate that is out there. That seems credible in all of this. Still a big number, but only about a third of what Trump says.

    Nonetheless, he says he wants to go after them, he wants a task force to really crackdown on this population out there. The problem is one started just a year ago under the immigration office there. Priority Enforcement Program, that is what they call it, and it is aimed at getting the worst criminals off of the street.

    It's a big job. Maybe he will make it better. Maybe he will put more agents out there as he promised. Maybe he will do that on day one in terms of getting that started, so we can't say otherwise. That that part of the claim is true, but to the extent that none of this is going to produce immediate results, it simply can't. It is too big of a job. It is also misleading.


    White Nationalist Media Cheers Trump’s “Almost Perfect” Immigration Speech

    Media Reactions To Trump’s Immigration Speech: Same Extremist Trump

    CNN's Corey Lewandowski: Trump Immigration Speech Was A Tactical Decision To Appeal To White Males

  • White Nationalist Media Cheers Trump’s “Almost Perfect” Immigration Speech

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Donald Trump’s August 31 immigration speech was an angry, hateful rant that sought to fearmonger over the purported dangers immigrants pose to the United States. Trump’s white nationalist media supporters loved it.

    Trump’s disturbing courtship with and widespread support from white nationalists is unprecedented for a major party nominee in recent history. Stephen Bannon, the chief executive of the "alt-right" publication Breitbart News, recently became chief executive of Trump's campaign.

    During and after Trump’s speech, white nationalists weighed in with glowing testimonials.

    Jared Taylor, publisher of the white nationalist publication American Renaissance:

    David Duke, radio host and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan:
    Richard Spencer, white nationalist writer and founder of the “alt-right”:
  • MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt Calls Donald Trump’s Immigration Rant “Sophisticated”

    Hewitt: "This Was The Mainstream Policy" Of The Republican Party On Immigration

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of MSNBC's The Place for Politics:

    STEVE KORNACKI (HOST): Do you think [Trump] provided clarity tonight, and do you think that that clarity that he provided, will it attract new voters who weren't already with him? 

    HUGH HEWITT: He provided clarity from the beginning of the day to the end, I think, Steve. It was his very best day of his presidential campaign. Bill Kristol earlier with Lawrence O'Donnell was making, I think, the key takeaway. When you start with the morning, bad news for Hillary Clinton all over the place. Her negatives are down in The Washington Post poll. Obamacare is falling apart. 30 new concealed emails on Benghazi. 

    Donald Trump goes down to Mexico, has a very perfectly normal diplomatic engagement with the president of Mexico, has a great press conference afterwards, takes questions, which Secretary Clinton won't take from the press in any setting, and then comes back and gives a very, very sophisticated speech that I think mirrors -- I did 170 interviews with active Republican presidential candidates. That was the mainstream policy what he articulated today. We do points one through ten first, and then we'll talk about the other people. I think it is a softening. I think it was sophisticated and very powerful.


    CNN's Gloria Borger: The Term "Pivot" Should "Be Put In A Lock Box" When Talking About Trump

    Sean Hannity Calls Donald Trump's Immigration Rant “Pivotal” And “Very Powerful”

  • CNN's Corey Lewandowski: Trump Immigration Speech Was A Tactical Decision To Appeal To White Males

    Lewandowski: White Males "Have A High Propensity Of Voting. ... This Speech Is Clearly Geared At Those Individuals Right Now"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of CNN's CNN Tonight with Don Lemon:

    DON LEMON (HOST): Corey, I think you believe that the speech was effective, but what do you -- how do you respond to the rest of the panel saying he did not expand the base, this was probably to strengthen his core base that he already has? Do you agree?

    COREY LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I think Donald Trump's message tonight was the message that he started with back on June of 2015, which was "America First." That's what he believes, and what he is playing to -- and if you look at the polling data, he's got about an 18 point lead in the demographic of white males who are voting in this election.

    They have a high propensity of voting, and so he's got about an 18 point lead on Hillary Clinton in that particular demographic. This speech is clearly geared at those individuals right now, to make sure they are there, he has locked them in for the election.

    And now he is going to have to go and expand, there is no question about it, but this speech right here, "America First" is something that has got him to this point, and he's doubled down on it tonight.


    Fox Previews Trump's Immigration Speech With Images Of Drug Runners Crossing Border

    Breitbart News Attacked Clinton For Calling Mexican President A Friend, But Ignored Trump Doing Same

    Media Figures Praise Optics Of Trump’s Mexico Visit, Ignoring Trump Campaign’s Bigotry Toward Mexicans

  • Sean Hannity Calls Donald Trump's Immigration Rant “Pivotal” And “Very Powerful”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): You know, it seems that this probably turned out for Donald Trump to be a pivotal moment, and I would argue probably the best day of his campaign. He looked presidential in Mexico. He gave a powerful speech. He laid out a very powerful case.


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  • CNN's Gloria Borger: The Term "Pivot" Should "Be Put In A Lock Box" When Talking About Trump

    Borger: “There Was No Softening Here That I Could See”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of CNN's CNN Tonight:

    GLORIA BORGER: I think during this whole campaign, people have been waiting for a different Trump to show up. He's had different people running his campaign, as you know, Corey [Lewandowski], and people keep saying, "oh, Trump's going to change, he's going to be different, he's going to so-called pivot," which I think that ought to be put in a lock box that word, because Trump was tough tonight. This -- we were talking about whether he was going to soften on immigration, what his policy would be on mass deportation. There's a little bit of confusion here to me and we can talk about that later, but I do think that he made it very clear that those who are today illegally, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for reentry. There was a little bit of confusion later on in the speech to me, but I do believe that this was tough, it was build the wall, it was Mexico's paying for it, and there was no softening here that I could see.


    Fox Hypes A Trump Pivot The Same Day Trump Says He Won't Pivot

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  • Fox Previews Trump's Immigration Speech With Images Of Drug Runners Crossing Border

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF


    Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor previewed a major immigration speech by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with anti-immigrant rhetoric, while displaying images of drug runners crossing into the U.S. During the segment Fox analyst Ralph Peters argued against so called "anchor babies," due process for immigrants, and argued against undocumented immigrants ever getting the right to vote.

    From the August 31 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

    ERIC BOLLING (GUEST HOST): Let's use Mexican and American laborers, we'll share the laborers and that's a way to help defray some of the cost to Mexico, use some of their labor.

    RALPH PETERS: Well, it would probably wind up being built largely by illegal immigrants anyway. But Eric -- Eric, I strongly believe, strongly, that what we need to do is first, as Mr. Trump has said, "enforce the laws on the books." Get the felons out of here. We need to revamp other laws, pass new ones.

    When you were apprehended at the border, it shouldn't be catch and release. You go back immediately. And what we have got to do is stop sympathizing with the criminals and penalizing the victims. So these ideas of endless appeals and anchor babies, sorry if that offends anybody, that stuff -- that nonsense has to stop.

    We need legal immigration. But we -- not illegal, and here is my bottom line. No one who enters this country illegally ever, ever gets to vote for president, senator, representative, governor, judge, et cetera.


    Fox Hypes Photo Of One Man Climbing Border Fence To Fearmonger Over Border Security

    Bill O'Reilly Says A Border Wall Will "Stop The Tons Of Hard Narcotics Flowing Into America"

    Media Figures Praise Optics Of Trump’s Mexico Visit, Ignoring Trump Campaign’s Bigotry Toward Mexicans

    ABC's Jonathan Karl: Trump "Ditched A Year's Worth Of Tough Talk" During Meeting With Mexican President

    CNN's Wolf Blitzer: Reports Emerging That Mexican President Told Trump "Mexico Would Not Pay For That Wall"

    CNN's Murray: Despite Trump’s Claim, Portion Of Wall Payment “Would Essentially Be Coming Out Of The US Budget”

  • Breitbart News Attacked Clinton For Calling Mexican President A Friend, But Ignored Trump Doing Same

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    Breitbart News praised Donald Trump, who called Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto a “friend” during his visit with the leader in Mexico City, but the conservative media outlet previously harshly criticized Hillary Clinton for doing the same thing.

    Breitbart praised Trump’s August 31 visit with Nieto, describing it as a “triumph,” and commended his “softer, diplomatic persona.” The article, however, failed to mention Trump’s description of Nieto as his personal “friend”:

    DONALD TRUMP: A strong prosperous and vibrant Mexico is in the best interest of the United States and will keep and help keep, for a long, long period of time, America together. Both of our countries will work together for mutual good, and most importantly for the mutual good of our people. Mr. President, I want to thank you. It’s been a tremendous honor and I call you a friend. Thank you.

    However, in June 2016, Breitbart reported on a statement by Clinton in which she criticized Trump for praising “dictators like Vladimir Putin” while attacking “our friends – including the British prime minister, the mayor of London, the German chancellor, the president of Mexico and the Pope.” Breitbart attacked Clinton for her description of Nieto, calling him “scandal-plagued” and pointing out that Mexican media had accused him “of taking cartel money for his campaign.”

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has claimed that Mexico’s corruption and scandal-plagued President Enrique Peña Nieto is America’s friend. The same president that has been accused by Mexican media of taking cartel money for his campaign while the country continues to see rising levels of violence, criminal impunity, and smuggling.


    Despite her efforts to attack Trump, Clinton failed to mention a few key facts about Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that reveal he may not be a good friend to have. Earlier this year, Breitbart Texas reported on how an in-depth investigation by Aristegui Noticias in Mexico revealed that the Juarez Cartel had used shell companies to funnel money and help finance his presidential bid. The cartel moneys were used to purchase a series of cash cards that were handed out to individuals who pledged their vote to Peña Nieto’s party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The independent Mexican journalists also revealed that members of the Juarez Cartel had used various government programs to launder money and profit from their network of contacts. In addition to the cartel ties in his campaign, Peña Nieto has also been accused of taking bribes from wealthy businessmen in exchange for lucrative contracts.

    On August 17 it was announced that Stephen Bannon would be taking a leave of absence from his role as the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC to become chief executive of Donald Trump’s campaign. Throughout the campaign Breitbart has received criticism for its devotion to Donald Trump, while Trump himself has shared Breitbart News articles 186 times on social media.

  • ABC's Jonathan Karl: Trump "Ditched A Year's Worth Of Tough Talk" During Meeting With Mexican President

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of ABC's World News Tonight with David Muir:

    JONATHAN KARL: Today, standing next to the president of Mexico, Donald Trump ditched a year's worth of tough talk.

    DONALD TRUMP: This has been a tremendous honor and I call you a friend.

    KARL: That's a huge departure from day one of his campaign.

    TRUMP: They are not our friend, believe me.

    KARL: Accusing Mexico of funneling undocumented immigrants across the border.

    TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they aren't sending their best. They are bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists.

    KARL: Today, I asked Trump if he stands by those words. Mr. Trump, over the course of this campaign, do you regret some of the things that you have said about Mexico or Mexicans and want to take them back?

    TRUMP: A lot of the things I said are very strong, but we have to be strong. We have to say what's happening. There is crime, as you know, there is a lot of crime and there are lot of problems. I really believe that the president and I will solve those problems.

    KARL: And what of Trump's signature campaign promise? We all know by now who Trump wants to foot the bill.


    KARL: Today I asked both men about that. And the wall? Is it a non-starter? Is there any chance Mexico pays for the wall?

    TRUMP: We did discuss the wall, we did not discuss payment of the wall. That'll be for a later date. This was a very preliminary meeting.

    KARL: President Enrique Peña Nieto extended the invitation to visit Mexico to Trump and Hillary Clinton just last Friday. Trump's decision to accept was a total surprise. When we touched down, his schedule was still up in the air. It's been a whirlwind. We didn't know until about midnight last night that Donald Trump would bring the presidential campaign here to Mexico City. Trump's harsh words have made him a pariah here in Mexico. Over the past year, protesters have burned him in effigy. Trump pinatas doing a brisk business. Peña Nieto himself has compared Trump to Hitler and Mussolini. But today, he soft-pedaled too, emphasizing that Mexico will cooperate with whomever wins the election.


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