Much of the media has egg on its face for buying Donald Trump’s lie about winning the endorsements of black pastors. Journalists and editors should think twice before running one of his press releases as news, considering how often they are flat-out wrong.
Here’s what Trump’s press release said:
“Mr. Trump will be joined by a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders who will endorse the GOP front-runner after a private meeting at Trump Tower.”
“Let me be clear,” she [Bishop Corletta Vaughn] wrote. “I was invited to attend a gathering of clergy to listen to Mr. Trump on Monday November 30. I respectively (Sic.) declined as I do not support nor will endorse Donald Trump.”
That so many news outlets across the spectrum–mainstream and conservative, legitimate and unreliable–all published versions of the story “Trump to win black pastors’ endorsements” shows how easy it is to get lazy journalists to puff a press release into a story. Most of them are uncorrected.
The worst headlines reported it as fact, leaving the source unmentioned:
NY Times: Black Pastors Expected to Endorse Donald Trump
“Expected”? Expected by whom?
Washington Examiner: Trump set to announce endorsement of 100 black religious leaders
USA Today: Trump to be endorsed by African-American pastors
CNN (via WSMV Nashville): Donald Trump to receive endorsement of 100 black religious leaders
Breitbart: 100 Black Religious Leaders to Endorse Donald Trump on Monday
Conservative Tribune: 100 Black Pastors Planning Shocking Announcement About Donald Trump Monday
Truth Revolt: Black Pastors to Back The Donald
Others indicated it was a claim made by Trump:
KCCI Iowa: Trump: 100 black leaders’ endorsements coming
Maybe the reporters should be more credulous next time they hear a hard-to-believe self-promoting claim from a guy who has a history of lying* for self-promotion**.
*“Britain’s Prince of Wales is considering a 24-room, $5 million spread, Johnny and Joanna Carson have inquired about a pied-à-terre, and scores of oil-rich Arabs and moneyed Europeans (among them a Rothschild and a Krupp) are signing up to move in once the building is ready for occupancy next fall.”