Major news outlets retracted a story on record child detention after realizing the numbers were not current and from the Trump administration and instead from 2015, during the Obama-Biden administration.
Conservatives are criticizing the decision to kill the stories altogether instead of simply updating them, and charging the news outlets with bias.
Per NRO, Multiple news outlets on Tuesday retracted articles indicating that the Trump administration currently holds over 100,000 illegal immigrant children in detention, after it became clear that the statistic reflected child detentions in 2015 when Barack Obama was president.
The United Nations released a report on Monday claiming that 100,000 children were being held in U.S. immigration detention facilities, but the report’s author, human-rights lawyer Manfred Nowak, then clarified to the Associated Press that 2015 was the latest year for which Nowak’s team could find data. The AP found U.S. government statistics showing that 69,550 illegal immigrant children have been detained over the past year.
Reports from the Associated Press, Reuters, NPR, and Al Jazeera all misrepresented Nowak’s data as representative of current detention levels.
“Reuters decided to withdraw its story after the United Nations issued a statement on November 19 saying the number of children in detention was not current but was for the year 2015,” a spokesman for Reuters told the Daily Caller. Reuters deleted the story entirely, without putting up a replacement, and NPR promised to update its story in light of the correction.
Kyle Smith of the NYPost writes in an Op-Ed:
AFP and Reuters deleted a story that was, in a narrow sense, true — that a UN study claimed the United States had some 100,000 children in migrant-related detention. The United Nations is horribly biased against America and the West. Still, on the level of lazy, news-release-driven journalism, the locked-up-kids story was minimally valid.
At any rate, what the agencies didn’t seem to like was the story’s changed implication: That Obama, rather than Trump, locked up a lot of children. This is what’s important: Not that AFP and Reuters deleted a story, but that the implication of the story meant everything to them.
Every time you read something from AFP and Reuters (and CNN and the Washington Post), you should be thinking not “This is fake news” but: “What’s the agenda?” To paraphrase Chuck Schumer’s infamous, and instructive, comment on the CIA, news outlets have six ways from Sunday of getting you to think what they want you to think, none of which involve making up stuff.
One is simply not reporting things. News that isn’t mentioned didn’t really happen to that outlet’s consumers. Obama’s approval ratings were mostly really low, comparable to Trump’s, typically in the low to mid-40s. Polls would come out saying this, and the Ron Burgundys would simply not report it.
Trump doesn’t enjoy this courtesy. Nor can he be associated with good news. A recent Newsbusters survey found that, over a recent six-week period, not even 1 percent of network news reporting on the Trump administration even mentioned positive economic news.
Read more here.
This article first appeared on TheConservativeOpinion.com