TIME hid key facts and twisted others in a story that scare-mongered about former President Donald Trump’s potential return to Twitter.
After Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, many have expressed the hope Trump will return to the platform that banned him in January 2020, though Trump has said he will not return. TIME published a piece bashing the very possibility.
TIME claimed Trump tweeted of the Capitol “riot” that “These are the things and events that happen” when an election win is “stripped away,” and added his supporters should “go home” and “remember this day forever.” That’s when Twitter “temporarily” suspended the then-president, a suspension that turned into a ban, alleging “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
What TIME did not mention is that Trump’s speech on Jan. 6, 2021, specifically urged a protest done “peacefully and patriotically,” and that the president tweeted another call for peace and an end to rioting during the Capitol events. His tweeted video where he said to “go home” was a part of his call for “peace.” Trump never called for or endorsed violence on Twitter—he did just the opposite.
Having started disingenuously, TIME then noted gloomily that Trump still gets “his message out” through rallies, interviews, press releases, and his Truth Social platform. At least Trump’s current “megaphone” is a “whisper” compared to his previous Twitter presence, TIME mused.
“Should Trump get back on Twitter, he would regain a platform that he has already shown he’s willing to use to incite and justify violence,” TIME screeched.
The outlet did see one biased silver lining. “At the same time, Trump’s disruptive messages would remind voters of the most chaotic days of his four years in office, and that could erode his support among independents and energize Democratic voters.”
TIME cited a 2019 Politico/Morning Consult poll that reported 60 percent of voters “thought Trump’s use of Twitter was a ‘bad thing’” and 70 percent of voters thought Trump “used the platform too much.”
Again ignoring Trump’s calls for peace on Jan. 6, TIME said that concerns that Trump could promote violence and disrupt the election “haven’t been resolved.” TIME added: “Trump continues to deny the results of the 2020 election and refuses to accept responsibility for the violent attack on the Capitol.” Because apparently free speech is unacceptable?
TIME cited the recent attack on Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul as an example of potentially social media-fueled violence, even though no evidence has connected Pelosi’s attacker to conservative politics or MAGA social media “extremists.”
TIME ended by quoting New York University presidential historian Timothy Naftali, who claimed without proof, “The former president with his words before January 6, heated up this country, motivated disturbed individuals to do violence, will we see more of that with Donald Trump back on Twitter?”
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