Media figures quickly condemn Trump’s “vicious racist lie” about General Pershing

Media figures quickly condemn Trump’s “vicious racist lie” about General Pershing

››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

Media figures quickly debunked President Trump’s “vicious, racist” myth that General John Pershing prevented terrorism for decades by allegedly ordering Muslim insurgents in the Philippines to be shot with bullets dipped in pig’s blood.

Trump revives racist myth of Gen. Pershing after terror attack in Spain

Boston Globe: “Trump trots out false claim about Pershing’s treatment of Muslims -- again.” The Boston Globe reports “Less than three hours after a terrorist attack in Barcelona killed at least 12 people on Thursday, President Trump repeated a false assertion he made during the 2016 campaign about General John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing’s treatment of Muslims over a century ago”:

Less than three hours after a terrorist attack in Barcelona killed at least 12 people on Thursday, President Trump repeated a false assertion he made during the 2016 campaign about General John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing’s treatment of Muslims over a century ago.

No indication of the motives or beliefs of the Barcelona suspects had yet been released by authorities.

“Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught,” Trump tweeted at 2 p.m. “There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!” (The Islamic State claimed responsibility nearly 2 hours after Trump’s tweet.)

[...]

But aside from being false, the actions supposedly taken by Pershing are not even effective. [Boston Globe, 8/17/17]

Media figures, fact-checkers slam Trump’s “vicious, racist lie”

Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski: “We debunked this story literally years ago.”

Fox’s Shepard Smith: “It isn’t true,” “it’s just not what happened.”

[Fox News, America’s News Headquarters, 8/17/17]

MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin: “Trump on Tues.: ‘Before I make a statement, I need facts.’ Trump on Thurs. cites ‘pants on fire’ unproven claim.”

CNN anchor Jake Tapper: “POTUS again shares false story about GEN Pershing.”

CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller: “Trump referring to uncorroborated story he told during campaign.”

NY Times contributor Wajahat Ali: “Pershing didn't dip bullets in pig's blood, Muslims in NJ didn’t celebrate 9-11 & Trump didn't condemn Charlottesville terrorism for 2 days.”

The Hill contributor Bradley Moss to Trump: “You’re perpetuating #fakenews again with that myth about pig’s blood. No evidence Pershing ever did that.”

Commentary editor Noah Rothman: Trump’s “Pershing myth [is] a vicious racist lie.”

NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander: “On Pres Trump's latest tweet, here's a fact check: (Hint: Pants on Fire).”

The Guardian political reporter Ben Jacobs: “Trump first referenced the false story about Pershing at a campaign rally in South Carolina in 2016.”

The Atlantic associate editor Matt Ford: “Historians have debunked what Trump's referencing.”

Toronto Star: “Donald Trump endorses racist mass murder as an anti-terror tactic, citing fake story.” Toronto Star Washington correspondent Daniel Dale wrote that Trump cited a “fake story” in his tweet endorsing “racist mass murder”:

Returning to the anti-Muslim bigotry that was a hallmark of his campaign, U.S. President Donald Trump once again endorsed a fictional U.S. massacre of Muslim terrorists, with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood, as an example of how to deter terrorism.

It would be extraordinary even if the story were true: the president of the United States advocating extrajudicial killing, involving explicit religious animus, as an anti-terror tactic.

But the story is fake. The president was asking the world to “study” an online hoax.

[...]

The myth-busting website Snopes found no evidence to support the story, which has circulated by email since at least 2001. Snopes found anecdotal accounts that Pershing or other military leaders had threatened to bury Muslims along with pig carcasses. [Toronto Star, 8/17/17]
 

DailyMail.com: Trump cited“a widely discredited military tale” about Pershing. DailyMail.com U.S. editor David Martosko wrote: “President Donald Trump said Thursday on Twitter that his administration condemns the day's terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain – but then told a widely discredited military tall tale to reinvigorate his tough-on-terror image.” Martosko continued to debunk Trump’s claim, citing experts:

Texas A&M University historian Brian McAllister Linn told Politifact last year that it's 'a fabrication and has long been discredited. I am amazed it is still making the rounds.'

Christopher Einolf, a DePaul University expert and author, added: 'I never found any indication that it was true in extensive research on his Moro experiences. This kind of thing would have run completely against his character.' [DailyMail.com, 8/17/17]

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