New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers churned out some actual fake news during Saturday’s print edition with “President Says Job Report Makes ‘a Great Day’ for Floyd.”
The problem? Trump didn’t say that at all – Trump was praising America for making gains toward “equal justice under the law”:
President Trump began his Friday by drawing criticism from Democrats for declaring that new unemployment numbers made it “a great day” for George Floyd, the black man whose death in the custody of white police officers has touched off protests and rioting across the country.
He ended it by tweeting a video of a supporter declaring that Mr. Floyd was “not a good person.”
In the wake of a shockingly positive jobs report, Rogers tried hard to inflame the phony controversy into a hit against Trump:
After a week of unrest in the capital, Mr. Trump had gone to the Rose Garden to declare victory over a coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the economy, promoting the new numbers and planning to carry that message with him on a trip to Maine later in the day. His jarring reference to Mr. Floyd, made during a speech centered on the economy, overshadowed it.
“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country,” Mr. Trump said. “This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”
There’s a lot left out of that summary, as National Review noticed while providing the full quote (and doing the news reporting the Times failed to do).
The paper’s misleading excerpt of Trump’s words stand in bold below:
Equal justice under the law must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement, regardless of race, color, gender or creed, they have to receive fair treatment from law enforcement. They have to receive it. We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen. Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying, 'This is a great thing that’s happening for our country.' This is a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality. It’s really what our constitution requires and it’s what our country is all about.
NR’s Tobias Hoonhout went on to explain what Trump actually said.
While some reporters quoted Trump’s comments verbatim, others immediately cast Trump’s reference to Floyd as part of his celebration of the positive economic outlook, rather than as a suggestion that Floyd would be pleased with the country’s focus on progress toward a more equitable law enforcement environment.
Rogers’s story stands uncorrected on the website.
Even Trump-hating fellow White House correspondent Peter Baker recognized the lack of context and deleted a tweet, explaining: “There's some question about what Trump was referring to when he said George Floyd would think this is a ‘great day for him,’ so I've deleted the original tweet.”