Major media outlets’ birthright citizenship tweets are textbook examples of how not to cover Trump
Donald Trump is setting new standards for presidential dishonesty. But nearly two years into his term in office, major media outlets are still failing to fact-check him. Not only that, but as coverage of a new Trump interview with Axios indicates, they sometimes actively misinform by spreading Trump’s false claims without even attempting to point out that they’re false.
Trump told Axios he plans to end “birthright citizenship” — a constitutional right that most all babies born in the United States have to citizenship, regardless of the immigration status of their parents — with an executive order.
Trump claimed, falsely, that “we’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
In fact, as a quick Google search reveals, more than 30 nations grant “birthright citizenship” to babies born within their borders.
But instead of correcting the record, in a tweet sharing its story about the Axios interview, the Associated Press misinformed by uncritically spreading Trump’s false claim.
As this post was being prepared for publication, the AP deleted the tweet, and noted in a follow-up that they did so “because it failed to note that [Trump’s] statement was incorrect.”
We have deleted a tweet about President Trump's claim that the U.S. is the only country that grants birthright citizenship because it failed to note that his statement was incorrect.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) October 30, 2018
The AP wasn’t alone. Bloomberg made the same error.
Axios’ Jim VandeHei also misled people by suggesting that Trump has the unilateral power to end birthright citizenship.