It’s rare to see too competing and ideologically different media outlets get the same issue so wrong. But that’s what happened on Wednesday when Sarah Sanders refused to guarantee that Donald Trump has never and would never behave a specific way. That sparked unfounded accusations from the two media outlets that Trump was on some secret tape somewhere using racial slurs. Of course, if that tape ever did arise it would be a glorious day for liberal and establishment Republican allies. So glorious in fact, that if the tape existed it, like Russian collusion evidence, would be on a 24/7 news cycle until even the spaghetti spine GOP establishment would be voting to impeach Trump. But no tape has surfaced.
In fact, Trump himself made a statement that no tape exists because he doesn’t use those words. “They aren’t in my vocabulary” tweeted the President. Mark Burnett who produced The Apprentice has confirmed no such tape exists. But the media took one ridiculous question from a reporter and Sarah Sanders’ reasonable response and turned it into the big story.
CNN took it a step further with Anderson Cooper “explaining” how Sarah Sanders basically admitted there is a Trump N-word tape out there somewhere:
“Today the woman who speaks for the President of the United States said she cannot rule out…” was how Cooper begins. But that is a complete mischaracterization of what actually happened. In fact CNN tweeted the exchange before driving their unhinged narrative that Sanders was admitting something. As a reporter asks her about the possibility of the existence of the tape, Sanders says several times that President Trump has addressed the question directly and she would refer them to him.
The reporter pressed and asked if she could guarantee that no tape with Trump using a racial slur will ever show up. But Sanders can’t predict the future, nor can she speak beyond what she knows. So she directed them back to the President’s statement. Sanders’ refusal to guarantee that there will never be a tape now or in the future of Trump saying something turned into the Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC headline.
We spelled it out for CNN on our Instagram page:
As a result of this media narrative, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC have earned a 100% bias rating on the story, and our Brief’s On Fire label.