NY Times Reports, Without Evidence, That Trump’s Views on Caravan Caused Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre

October 30, 2018 Updated: October 31, 2018

News Analysis

The New York Times published two stories on the front page of its Oct. 30 print edition that blame President Donald Trump and his allies for the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Both stories are positioned prominently above the fold on the newspaper’s front page. The first article, as examined by The Epoch Times in a previous analysis, cites no evidence while painting Trump as a peddler of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and suggesting that his presidency is linked to a rise in anti-Semitism.

The second article, titled “Caravan Rhetoric Intersects With Deadly Hatred,” runs across three columns and suggests, again without evidence, that Trump’s comments about the migrant caravan in Mexico caused the synagogue massacre.

“There is clear overlap between the hatred and delusion that drove this lethal behavior and the paranoia and misinformation surrounding the caravan,” the writer, Jeremy Peters, asserts in summarizing the story.

A sub-headline that only appears in print states, “President Stokes Same Fears That Appear to Drive Attacks.”

The first exhibit the newspaper offers to back its claim is that “baseless claims that George Soros is financing the migrants … carry a strong whiff of anti-Semitism” and “one of the most consistent themes of commentary on the caravan from the right.”

The New York Times offers no evidence for why the comments about Soros have “a strong whiff of anti-Semitism.” Trump has never publicly suggested that Soros is financing the caravan.

One of Trump’s allies, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) wondered on Twitter whether Soros, one of the biggest advocates for open borders, could be one of the financial backers and called for an investigation. The message by Gaetz included a video of caravan migrants receiving cash.

Trump later shared the same video but made no mention of Soros–unless you believe The New York Times, which reports, despite linking to a tweet that contradicts its claim, that “Trump tweeted a video on Oct. 18 that purported to be of someone connected to Mr. Soros handing out cash to the migrants.” Neither the video nor Trump’s tweet makes any mention of Soros.

The false statement about Trump’s Twitter message is immediately followed, in the same paragraph, with a statement that “on Oct. 22, a pipe bomb was found at Mr. Soros’s house; the police have charged a Trump supporter, Cesar Sayoc, with mailing the bombs to Mr. Soros and other Democrats whom the president frequently criticizes.”

The New York Times incorrectly suggests, by positioning its false reporting about Trump’s Twitter message and the mail bomb attacks in the same paragraph, that Trump’s message provoked Sayoc.

The only time Trump did mention Soros on Twitter was Oct. 5, during the heated days of the confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The president said that “Soros and others” paid the women who cornered Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in an elevator and screamed at him about his support for Kavanaugh.

Trump’s assertion is factually sound. One of the women, Ana Maria Archila, is the executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, a group heavily funded by Soros through his Open Society Foundation. The other woman is an activist for the group. The center’s front page even featured a photo of the elevator scene on Oct. 5.

Having provided its readers with no evidence for the serious insinuations made at the beginning of the article, the newspaper then pivots to Robert Bowers, the suspected synagogue murderer. According to the newspaper, Bowers “also pushed online conspiracy theories about the migrant caravan, in addition to anti-Semitic diatribes.”

The use of “also” accuses Trump and his allies of pushing “anti-Semitic diatribes” and “online conspiracy theories.” There is no evidence that either Trump or any prominent Republican has engaged in abusive speech or writing targeting the Jews, the definition of “anti-Semitic diatribes.” And as shown above, the newspaper never provided evidence to prove that Trump has “pushed online conspiracy theories.”

The article goes on to suggest that the views of the president and Republicans are rooted in “unfounded claims about the caravan’s origins and wildly fluctuating estimates of its size” made by “right-wing commentators, conspiracy theorists, and activist groups.” Contrary to that claim, Trump’s statements have been based on official sources.

The president’s assertion that the caravan includes gang members is based on a report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As for the “wildly fluctuating estimates” of the caravan’s size, the newspaper is omitting the fact that the estimates vary in size based on numbers from official sources, including Mexico’s interior ministry and the caravan’s organizers.

Vice President Pence cited official intelligence and conversations with top foreign officials to report to the public that the caravan is funded by leftist groups. By omitting the relevant facts, the newspaper is either not aware that the news originated from Pence or considers the vice president a conspiracy theorist.

The article is the latest in a narrative spun by The New York Times that Trump is an anti-Semite. The newspaper omits from its latest report that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, married a conservative Jew and converted to Judaism. Trump also ended a trend of broken promises by prior presidents and moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, earning widespread praise.

Trump has fought back against false reporting by labeling the media which engage in the activity as “fake news” and referring to these outlets as “the enemy of the people.”

“CNN and others in the Fake News Business keep purposely and inaccurately reporting that I said the ‘Media is the Enemy of the People.’ Wrong!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Oct. 30. “I said that the ‘Fake News (Media) is the Enemy of the People,’ a very big difference.”

“The people of our Great Country are angry and disillusioned at receiving so much Fake News. They get it, and fully understand!” Trump added.

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