Back during the 2016 presidential campaign, a meme went viral featuring a “quote” from Donald Trump.
“If i were to run [for president], I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country,” Trump is alleged to have said. “They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.” The quote was shown to have been sourced from People magazine in 1998.
It was 100 percent false.
Remember this meme that went viral during the 2016 campaign? It was 100% false, but people believed it because they wanted to believe it. pic.twitter.com/XM9kp6tLOd
— Matt Margolis 🇺🇸 (@mattmargolis) September 5, 2020
Snopes fact-checked the meme in October 2015 and found it to be false, but the meme was still shared by Hillary supporters hoping to suppress support for Trump. I know this because any time I heard it mentioned, or saw it on social media, I’d reference the fact check by Snopes. With few exceptions, the typical response I got was, “Well, it sounds like something he would say.” This would ultimately be their justification for not deleting the meme or accepting the fact they’d been duped.
It was a fascinating and troubling example of confirmation bias. Most people generally accept the fact that you “can’t trust everything you find on the internet,” yet countless people shared that meme without making the slightest effort to verify it, and many, when presented with the truth, felt that what they wanted to believe to be true was more important than the facts.
This false meme isn’t much different from the fake story in The Atlantic which alleges that in 2018 Trump called American soldiers interred at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris because the troops there who died in battle were “losers” and “suckers.” In fact, NBC’s Peter Alexander argued that even though it might not be true, the reason the story “resonates” is because it sounds like something he would say.
“Obviously the reason the Atlantic story resonates — even as the president dismisses it — is because we’ve heard publicly from the president as he spoke about John McCain in 2015,” Alexander said. “So it really does raise questions about the president’s view of service and sacrifice.”
Contrast this to how Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post’s fact-checker, treated Biden’s statement that, unlike black Americans, Latinos have diversity of thought. Despite there being video of Biden saying this, Kessler tweeted, “If you listen to the clip, he didn’t actually say this.”
Except that’s exactly what Biden said. “Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community — with incredibly different attitudes about different things,” he told NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro in response to a question about whether he would reengage with Cuba.
If you listen to the clip, he didn’t actually say this. https://t.co/sU7XeCuHim
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) August 6, 2020
Currently, there is zero proof that President Trump made the statements alleged in The Atlantic, just accusations from four anonymous sources. Meanwhile, at least ten witnesses who were with Trump on that 2018 trip to France have gone on the record saying the allegations are false.
Is it really possible that the liberal media would deny the facts of a racist statement made by Biden, of which there is video evidence while going all-in on anonymous allegations against Trump with zero evidence? Obviously it is because it’s happening right now. The mainstream media treated the allegations against Trump without skepticism.
The media is looking to damage Trump at a time the polls are tightening. Recent successes with the economy and foreign policy are being ignored in favor of fake news. It’s only going to get worse as we approach Election Day.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis