The claim that President Donald Trump praised neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a 2017 speech is a “malicious lie” and “journalistic malfeasance,” explained CNN political contributor Steve Cortes in a Monday-published video produced by PragerU.
In a video entitled, “The Charlottesville Lie,” Cortes explained:
It’s our job, as informed citizens, to figure out the truth. And that’s where journalists and the media come in. They are supposed to help us ferret out fact from fiction. So when they get a fact wrong, that’s bad.
When they get a fact wrong, know it’s wrong, and don’t correct it, that’s worse. That’s not getting a fact wrong; that’s a lie. And that’s journalistic malfeasance.
The scandal of Charlottesville is not what President Trump said about neo-Nazis. It’s what the media said President Trump said about neo-Nazis. It’s a scandal because news reporting is supposed to be about gathering facts, not promoting an agenda.
In Charlottesville, they got it exactly backwards. We have been living with the consequences ever since.
Plainly put: ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the others spread a malicious lie that has poisoned our national dialogue.
Trump specifically denounced neo-Nazis and white nationalists during a press conference following the Charlottesville riots (emphasis added):
You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. … You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, — to them — a very, very important statute and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name. George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down statutes to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think about Thomas Jefferson? Do you like him? Are we going to take down his statute? Because he was a major slave-owner. Now are we going to take down his statute? You’re changing history. You’re changing culture, and you had people — and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally — but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.
Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign launch focused on “Klansmen,” “white supremacists,” and “neo-Nazis” who he claimed Trump had praised as “very fine people.” He praised Antifa as people with “courage” to “stand against [hate].”
On Thursday, Biden repeated the aforementioned claim to Breitbart News Senor Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak while campaigning in Des Moines, Iowa. Pollak asked Biden about misquoting Trump, yielding the following exchange:
Breitbart News: Mr. Vice President, are you aware that you’re misquoting Donald Trump in Charlottesville, he never called neo-Nazis “very fine people”?
Joe Biden: No, he called all those folks who walked out of that — they were neo-Nazis. Shouting hate, their veins bulging.
Breitbart News: But he said specifically that he was condemning them.
Joe Biden: Not specifically.
Breitbart News: He said —
Joe Biden: No, he did not. He said, he walked out, and he said — let’s get this straight. He said there were “very fine people” in both groups. They’re chanting antisemitic slogans, carrying flags.
PragerU is fighting against censorship by the Google-owned YouTube platform which hides its videos behind filters that restrict viewing in schools, libraries, and families with children.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.