Until today, Jessica Kwong was a political reporter for Newsweek. More specifically, it was her job to keep an eye on the Trump administration, the Trump family, and the 2020 race for president. This week, however, she was fired. The reason? On Thanksgiving Day, she published an article in which she claimed that the president and first lady planned to spend the holiday golfing, tweeting, “and more” some such. Sadly for her, President Trump secretly flew to Afghanistan, where he met the troops (and served them turkey).
After President Trump had landed, pro-Trump Twitter users rightfully went after her. One of her fiercest critics was First Son Donald Trump Jr. “The President spends his Thanksgiving with American troops deployed in Afghanistan, including serving them lunch,” he wrote on Twitter. “Meanwhile, over at the Fake News…”
The President spends his Thanksgiving with American troops deployed in Afghanistan, including serving them lunch. Meanwhile, over at the Fake News… https://t.co/rJSQ8u0vLP
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 28, 2019
That tweet was retweeted over 8,000 times, which was a sure sign that the story about the Newsweek hoax had gone viral.
Afterward — and when even Kwong and her Newsweek friends couldn’t deny President Trump’s presence in Afghanistan any longer — the story was updated, as was Kwong’s tweet in which she shared the original article.
It was, she wrote, “an honest mistake.” It wasn’t nice, no, but it could happen to anyone. Or something.
Trump headed to Afghanistan to surprise U.S. troops on Thanksgiving https://t.co/f7Xeqz1ZGQ Deleting this tweet because it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake. Story has already been updated, as shown in the screenshot. pic.twitter.com/g9CfPaV2kQ
— Jessica Kwong (@JessicaGKwong) November 29, 2019
However, that wasn’t much of an explanation. As Donald Trump Jr. wrote on Twitter: “It wasn’t an ‘honest mistake’ you tried to dunk on Trump and ended up dunking on yourself because you couldn’t resist. Notice how there’s never been a story that broke in Trump’s favor & had to be corrected the other way? These aren’t mistakes, they are a very consistent pattern.”
It wasn’t an “honest mistake” you tried to dunk on Trump and ended up dunking on yourself because you couldn’t resist. Notice how there’s never been a story that broke in Trump’s favor & had to be corrected the other way? These aren’t mistakes, they are a very consistent pattern. https://t.co/HmyrHrOjqB
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 30, 2019
It took Kwong’s employer, Newsweek, a bit of time, but the magazine finally decided to take action. “Newsweek investigated the failures that led to the publication of the inaccurate report that President Trump spent Thanksgiving tweeting and golfing rather than visiting troops in Afghanistan,” a Newsweek representative told the Washington Examiner. “The story has been corrected, and the journalist responsible has been terminated. We will continue to review our processes and, if required, take further action.”
Let this be a lesson for Jessica Kwong. We can all have opinions — and we can have heated debates about them. We are not, however, all entitled to our own facts.