CNN’s Acosta mangles White House quote on science & reopening schools, corrects himself ONLY after misleading tweet goes viral
The row was sparked during a White House presser on Thursday, after a reporter asked McEnany about how parents might approach the upcoming academic year, as a growing number of school districts around the country move to full-time virtual learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The president has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open,” McEnany replied. “I was just in the Oval talking to him about that, and when he says open, he means open in full, kids being able to attend each and every day at their school. The science should not stand in the way.”
The science is on our side here. We encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science.
Though McEnany went on to cite Scott Atlas, the former head of Stanford University's neuroradiology department, as well as a recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), her first line about “science” promptly went viral. A Twitter pile-on soon followed, with detractors and a number of mainstream media outlets presenting the quote only in part, distorting its meaning to suggest the administration opposes ‘science’ altogether.
The White House Press Secretary on Trump's push to reopen schools: "The science should not stand in the way of this."— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 16, 2020
Kayleigh McEnany: "The President has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open... The science should not stand in the way of this." pic.twitter.com/GNstim2HkW— The Hill (@thehill) July 16, 2020
The science should not stand in the way of schools reopening, says Kayleigh McEnany – video https://t.co/L75M0vKDrE— The Guardian (@guardian) July 16, 2020
The press secretary herself shot back that the incident was a “case study in media bias,” offering more of her own quotes from Thursday’s press conference and arguing she had made the “opposite point” from the one attributed to her. A number of other skeptics also came to McEnany’s defense, including CNN’s Jake Tapper, who urged critics to “be fair.”
Case Study in Media Bias:I said: “The science is very clear on this...the science is on our side here. We encourage our localities & states to just simply follow the science. Open our schools.”But leave it to the media to deceptively suggest I was making the opposite point! https://t.co/vlxk3zRsgh— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) July 16, 2020
Folks read the ENTIRE McEnany comment about "the science should not stand in the way" of opening schools. She's arguing that the science is on the side of those who want to open them, she cites a JAMA study. I'm not taking a position on the matter but be fair.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 16, 2020
They’re lying to you.Media outlets & personalities (+ other left-wingers) maliciously took a @PressSec quote out of context (full below) to fraudulently make it sound like she didn’t care about the science she went on to explain supports the move to reopen schools.🧵THREAD🧵 pic.twitter.com/XmXCXcb3VR— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) July 16, 2020
Tapper’s colleague at CNN, Jim Acosta – who helped to kick off the controversy online – later weighed in to add more to the quote, acknowledging that McEnany had said “the science is on our side here.”
pretty dishonest journalism here. CNN’s acosta cuts off the quote, doesn’t give full context, and goes viral. (15K RTs, 23K likes in an hour)correction gets way less engagement (300 RTs, 1K likes)media does this stuff constantly and they still wonder why nobody trusts them. pic.twitter.com/B0j049Z3WK— Logan Hall (@loganclarkhall) July 16, 2020
By that point, however, his original post with the singled-out quote had racked up tens of thousands of likes and shares, vastly outperforming the minor correction. Some netizens found the gesture unconvincing, comparing the incident to previous media-generated ‘scandals,’ in which a misleading report goes viral but a later correction is largely ignored.
I’ve tweeted this so often... but this has been the press MO since January 20, 2017 press tweet “Trump removes MLK bust from Oval Office”. Then corrected a minute later “whoops there it is”. But the damage was done. And the damage is the goal.— Daniel Turner (@DanielTurnerPTF) July 16, 2020
You are the enemy of truth. Intentionally cut off McEnany's quote, let that simmer and gather retweets and likes for a while, then issued a half-hearted correction.You mislead Americans on purpose to suit your agenda.— Rosco Roberts (@RoscoRoberts1) July 16, 2020
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