Fisking The Fisking…
NewsBusters’ Tom Blumer writes about a difference in reporting between Reuters and CNN regarding whether the Secret Service talked to Trump or not regarding his “Second Ammendment, people” comment.
Well, since I have written “Second Amendment people” here, I guess I need to fire up the coffee pot for the imminent Secret Service visit. What rubbish.
Unfortunately, both outlets are spinning the Trump campaign’s response to make it look as if the campaign acknowledges that Trump’s comments have the potential to “incite violence,” even though they didn’t “mean to.” Horse manure. The campaign has recognized no such thing, nor should it, nor should any person who understands English. The words “Second Amendment people” don’t incite violence any more than the words “First Amendment people” or “Constitution-following people” would.
The press and the Clinton campaign (but I repeat myself) are engaging in yet another attempt at language suppression. It’s another example of what George Orwell’s 1984 referred to as Newspeak, the modern version of which in this instance is trying to brainwash people into believing that any time a person says the magic words “Second Amendment,” that person is himself or herself violent or is encouraging others to take violent action.
Don’t wait by the TV waiting for CNN to retract its report about what Reuters has asserted didn’t happen.
I wasn’t originally going to write about this until I saw this story make it out like Reuters totally and completely invalidated Scuitto’s account.
It didn’t. Not even close.
The problem here, which Newsbusters conveniently fails to pick up on, is that both the Reuters story and Sciutto’s account can be true. There is enough of a delta between both accounts to make them accurate.
I’m going to quote the part of Sciutto’s reporting on the air which NB highlighted which gets to the heart of the CNN account.
An official from the United States Secret Service tells me that it has contacted, has spoken with the Trump campaign regarding those comments, those comments yesterday on the Second Amendment. In fact, I’m told there has been more than one conversation with the campaign since the candidate made those comments. In addition, I’m told by the Secret Service that the Trump campaign’s response was that Donald Trump did not mean to incite violence.
And here’s the Reuters version…
a federal official familiar with the matter told Reuters that there had been no formal conversations between the Secret Service and the Trump campaign.
I highlighted the word “formal” because its use is probably not an accident.
Sciutto’s reporting never said there were “formal conversations”. All Sciutto said was that someone from the Secret Service spoke with someone in the campaign about it…more than once.
The difference is, in this case, a legal one. A formal discussion means one in an official capacity with official notes and a record of the contact. “Speaking with someone in the campaign” about it could mean anything from the verbal equivalent of a nudge in the ribs to a finger wag.
So Scuitto could be right…and Rueters could be right. The Secret Service or some element of the Service could have had a backchannel discussion with elements of the Trump campaign to the effect of “Hey, knock that off…that’s not good” and it would not rise to the level of a “formal” investigation of the matter the way the Service would traditionally handle a potential threat to a presidential candidate.
It’s hardly the open and shut final say Newsbusters makes it out to be.