The fake news about Trump’s ‘bloodbath’ speech

The mainstream media have wilfully misrepresented his remarks.

Jenny Holland

Topics Politics USA

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When it comes to America’s corporate media, I often ask myself a question: are they sinister manipulators, deftly managing the narrative, or hysterical halfwits being led around by the nose? It’s a question that remains open, especially after their epic hissy fit over comments Donald Trump made this weekend in Ohio.

The media’s coverage of Saturday’s rally focussed almost exclusively on the following remarks:

‘If I don’t get elected, it’s gonna be a bloodbath. That’ll be the least of it. It’s gonna be a bloodbath for the country.’

The headlines came thick and fast, implying that Trump was threatening some sort of civil war if he doesn’t win the presidency: ‘Trump says there will be a “bloodbath” if he loses the election’ (NBC); Trump ‘predicts a “Blood Bath” if he loses’ (New York Times); ‘In Ohio rally, Trump says there will be a “bloodbath” if he loses’ (CBS).

What the media omitted was the context. Trump was speaking specifically about the car industry. He talked of China’s plans to build large car-manufacturing plants in Mexico, and promised that he’s ‘gonna put a 100 per cent tariff on every single car that comes across [the border]’. China is ‘not gonna be able to sell those cars’, he said, before adding: ‘Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s gonna be a bloodbath.’ The ‘bloodbath’ Trump was referring to was quite clearly a figurative bloodbath in America’s automotive industry under a second Biden term.

This all makes perfect political sense. Trump was in Ohio, which is a car-manufacturing powerhouse. Nearly 100,000 people are directly employed in Ohio’s car industry, and several times that figure are employed in businesses that serve that industry and its workers. Trump’s speech wasn’t threatening an insurrection. He was simply appealing to the economic interests of Ohioans.

But the Trump-deranged media, with few exceptions, wilfully misrepresented Trump’s remarks. They published scaremongering headlines and reports, bereft of nuance and context. And they effectively ignored the entirely legitimate economic concerns of blue-collar America.

The media’s deliberate misrepresentation of Trump’s speech didn’t stop at the ‘bloodbath’ comments, either. They also claimed that he said ‘some migrants are “not people”’.

But Trump was not talking about migrants in general. He was talking about violent criminals, claiming that certain nations are allowing gang members to leave jail and cross the US-Mexico border. These ‘people’, he said, ‘they’re in jail for years – if you call ’em people, I don’t know if you call them people, in some cases they’re not people, in my opinion…’.

The media coverage cut Trump’s preceding comments about violent gangs so that it sounded as if he was questioning the humanity of migrants. Cue the manufactured outrage, with pundits accusing Trump of dehumanising the poor and hungry of the world, who only want to come to America to feed their families.

It’s true that Trump has an imprecise and often vulgar way of speaking. In Ohio, he even made a crass joke about the pronunciation of Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis’s name. ‘It’s spelled fanny, like your ass’, he said. So it’s understandable that some find Trump’s style to be deeply unpresidential, even outrageous.

But the media’s reaction to his speech was more than just pearl-clutching. It was dishonest. Such is the media’s contempt for Trump, it seems they’re prepared to consciously distort what he’s actually saying. This will cost them in the long run, as yet more people come to doubt their credibility. And such blatant bias will also benefit Trump, whose support grows with every attack on him from America’s media elites.

Whether Donald Trump can make it to the White House again remains to be seen. But if he does, these fake-news merchants will have helped him along the way.

Jenny Holland is a former newspaper reporter and speechwriter. Visit her Substack here.

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Topics Politics USA


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