Can we find some "fake news" on the front page of the NY Times? Yes we can!
WASHINGTON — America should not torture. Russia is a menace. A wall at the Mexican border would not be effective. A blanket ban against Muslims is wrong. Climate change is a threat.
Those statements are in direct opposition to some of the most significant declarations that President-elect Donald J. Trump made before his improbable ascension to the White House. They are also the words of his own nominees to lead the nation’s most important government agencies.
"A blanket ban against Muslims is wrong" and Trump's own nominees say so. This is not news to regular readers of, to pick a news source almost at random, the NY Times. Let's roll the tape:
Mike Pence Disavows Donald Trump’s Earlier Proposal Barring Muslims
The Trump campaign appeared to disavow one of its most provocative policy proposals on Thursday, as Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana said explicitly that Donald J. Trump no longer wanted to impose a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the United States.
In a round of television interviews in which he was asked to clarify once and for all where the campaign stands on the proposal, Mr. Pence, who opposed the ban before becoming Mr. Trump’s running mate, declared the idea dead. The reversal is a significant one for the Trump campaign, which was accused of promoting a policy that was discriminatory and probably unconstitutional when Mr. Trump unveiled it in the name of national security last year.
Asked on CNN about why he will not condemn the Muslim ban now, Mr. Pence said, “Because that’s not Donald Trump’s position now.”
Was this a bolt from the blue, or even the Twitterverse? Not exactly. Let's go further back in time:
Many What-Ifs in Donald Trump’s Plan for Migrants
In an address after the Orlando massacre punctuated with dire warnings of impending violence, Donald J. Trump said he would “suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism” against the United States or its allies. Mr. Trump promised fixes to the immigration system that would be “tough” and “smart” and “fast.”
It sounded much like his provocative proposal to keep Muslims from entering the country, but those listening closely noticed an important change. By proposing to bar people from certain regions rather than religions, Mr. Trump had avoided the sticky issue of testing someone’s faith.
Mr. Trump’s plan, lawyers and legal scholars agree, is one that the president has the power to carry out.
Hmm, did the Times reporters and editors forget this between October and now? Not really:
Obama to Dismantle Visitor Registry Before Trump Can Revive It
The Obama administration is dismantling a dormant national registry program for visitors from countries with active terrorist groups — a program that President-elect Donald J. Trump has suggested he is considering resurrecting.
The registry, created after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has not been in use since 2011, so the move is largely symbolic and appeared to be aimed at distancing the departing administration from any effort by the new president to revive the program, known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, or Nseers.
Asked on Wednesday, in the aftermath of the Berlin attack, whether he still intended to set up a registry for Muslims and impose a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants, Mr. Trump said in Florida, “You know my plans.” Hours later, a spokesman said Mr. Trump was not reaffirming his earlier calls for a ban on immigration from Muslim countries but was referring to his more recent clarification that he would bar people from countries with a history of Islamist extremism.
But that was three long weeks ago, so whatever. My guess as to the dynamic in play? Every NY Times news meeting opens with "What is our Trump outrage du jour?". The staffers want it and their readers need it, so stories are bent to fit the desired narrative. In this instance, despite repeated reporting and clarifications the NY Times is intent on pretending that a blanket Muslim ban remains Trump's policy.
By way of contrast, Abigail Hauslohner of the WaPo focused on reality, with actual testimony excerpts.