MSM Outlets Pull Story Attacking Trump Using Obama-era Migrant Data
Several mainstream media outlets withdraw story rather than correct to attack Obama
Several mainstream media outlets have withdrawn articles attacking President Donald Trump over the US Government's handling of migrant children after it emerged the information was based on Obama-era data.
Rather than correct their Trump-bashing stories, to instead attack former President Obama, a number of outlets withdrew their articles altogether.
The misrepresented data appears to have emerged from independent expert Manfred Nowak spoke to reporters on Tuesday.
During a press conference ahead of the release of the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, Nowak said the United States "still [has] more than 100,000 children in migration-related detention."
"The total number currently detained is 103,000," Nowak also told AFP.
The comments then triggered a wave of anti-Trump outlets to use the inaccurate figures to attack the president.
"The Trump administration's child separation policy is cruel and shameful."
But some immigration reporters and activists immediately cried foul.
"I… don't think that number is accurate," tweeted BuzzFeed's Hamed Aleaziz.
"That's not true," tweeted Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, a lawyer at the American Immigration Council.
"Currently, there are [around] 1,500 kids in family detention, plus [around] 5,000 kids in [Office of Refugee Resettlement] shelters… I am baffled at this claim."
In a retraction issued Wednesday, AFP announced that it was pulling its story.
"The author of the report has clarified that his figures do not represent the number of children currently in migration-related US detention, but the total number of children in migration-related US detention in 2015," the wire service tweeted out.
AFP is withdrawing this story.— AFP news agency (@AFP) November 19, 2019
The author of the report has clarified that his figures do not represent the number of children currently in migration-related US detention, but the total number of children in migration-related US detention in 2015.
We will delete the story. https://t.co/p30UjEWl7u
Reuters soon followed up with its own retraction: "A Nov. 18 story headlined ‘U.S. has world’s highest rate of children in detention -U.N. study' is withdrawn.
"The United Nations issued a statement on Nov. 19 saying the number was not current but was for the year 2015. No replacement story will be issued."
Assuming the U.N.'s correction will not be further corrected, the 100,000 figure would be the responsibility of Barack Obama, who was president in 2015, rather than President Trump.
In a case of unfortunate timing, Reuters' retraction came within minutes of presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) citing its story on Twitter.
"Under Trump, America leads the world in locking up little kids—including 100,000 children at the border," Sanders said.
He later deleted the tweet.