On Thursday I read an article on Facebook by National Public Radio. It was about Trump and Clinton, specifically about members of their own parties who were breaking party and supporting the other candidate. I’m kicking myself now that I can’t remember the exact title of the article, but it was along the lines of “Democrats Defecting to Trump and Republicans Defecting to Clinton.”
I read the article, and quickly noticed that while there were EIGHT examples of prominent Republicans recently declaring support for Hillary Clinton, the reporter had come up with only ONE example of a Democrat supporting Trump. And that guy is a long-time Obama critic who spoke at the RNC. I can’t imagine why he calls himself a Democrat.
The title of the article (and the content of the article itself) were a perfect example of “false equivalence.” This term refers to a poor reporting tactic in which journalists, in an attempt to appear unbiased, look for a negative about one side of an issue to compare to a negative about the other side. It’s something I’ve been seeing more and more recently, especially in regards to the presidential election coverage. In this case it was glaringly obvious that one side had a huge negative while the negative for the other side had truly been scraped up out of nearly nothing.
So I called it out in the “comments” section.
And a couple of hours later, THERE WAS A REPLY FROM NPR TO MY COMMENT!
I was kind of ridiculously excited.
In case you’re interested, here’s the link to the article, with its new title:
Honestly, I think the bad reporting in the body of the article was a bigger problem than the title. But I made a little bit of a dent.
Wow. Brush with greatness.