The New York Times moves them along: Even we were surprised by what the New York Times did this morning.
In this report on Donald Trump's day, Nick Corasaniti pushes the latest nothing-burger along. He simply repeats Trump's latest claim, without making the slightest attempt at clarification or challenge:
CORASANITI (10/25/16): [Trump] furthered his attack, citing a report from The Wall Street Journal that found that the political organization attached to Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, a key Clinton ally, donated more than $465,000 to the 2015 State Senate campaign of Jill McCabe, the spouse of Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the F.B.I. The donation was among many made that year by the group in an effort to win back a Democratic majority in the Virginia Senate.It one sense, this report is accurate. Trump really did say those things yesterday on the trail.
“So the man that was investigating her from the F.B.I., his wife runs for office, and they give her more than $675,000 to run,” Mr. Trump said of Mrs. Clinton, as the crowd began to boo. “And it just came out. They just figured it out.”
It is evidence the whole system is geared against him, Mr. Trump said...
On the other hand, Trump's story was utterly bungled. At the Washington Post, Trump has already received four Pinocchios for this latest nothing-burger. For whatever reason, the Times decided to write it on up, just exactly the way Trump said it to the booing crowd.
As Corasaniti continued, so did his weird stenography. This time, he simply repeated what Trump had said about all those phony polls:
CORASANITI (continuing directly): It is evidence the whole system is geared against him, Mr. Trump said, and any polls showing him behind, he told his supporters, are not to be believed.In this instance, Corasaniti simply repeated Trump's claims about all those phony polls, the ones which are heavily weighted with Democrats.
“What they do is they show these phony polls where they look at Democrats, and it’s heavily weighted with Democrats, and then they’ll put on a poll where we’re not winning, and everybody says, ‘Oh, they’re not winning,’” Mr. Trump said at the round-table event Monday morning.
Toward that end, Mr. Trump’s campaign will begin airing its own form of programming on Facebook Live, offering daily reports from campaign officials on what it says is the real state of the race.
His anti-polling and anti-news media message is quickly catching on with his supporters.
“There’s no way any of those polls are real,” said Bill Stelling, 44, a real estate agent from Jacksonville, Fla. “If you’ve gone around throughout the country and seen what’s going on, you go through any neighborhood and see how many Trump signs there are and how many Hillary signs there are, and I guarantee you it’s not even going to be close. It’s not even going to be close.”
It is a message that Mr. Trump has been highlighting at his rallies, repeatedly predicting victory and encouraging his supporters to embrace early voting, which began in some Florida counties on Monday.
Is there any truth to Trump's claims about the phony polls, the claims his supporters find so convincing? Did the Trump campaign offer any evidence that phony polls are being heavily weighted with Democrats, whatever exactly that is supposed to mean?
Corasaniti made no attempt to say. He simply wrote what the candidate said, with no attempt at providing context, evidence, clarification, fact-checking, possible words of caution.
This seemed like one of the laziest news reports we had seen in some time. In fairness, Corasaniti had seemed to start with a slippery shot which cut against Candidate Trump.
This slippery shot concerned what Trump had said about Jessica Drake, the latest woman to accuse him of being perhaps a bit grabby. To our ear, Corasaniti's slippery play had occurred here:
CORASANITI: Ms. Drake, an actress in pornographic films, is one of several women to accuse him of unwanted aggressive sexual advances after the release of a 2005 recording in which Mr. Trump boasted of being able to sexually assault women without consequence."But it was clear that he was aware of Drake?" Was that supposed to suggest a contradiction? That's how it sounded to us.
Mr. Trump has called all of the allegations lies and has said that he does not know the women.
But in a radio interview on WGIR’s “New Hampshire Today,” it was clear that Mr. Trump was aware of Ms. Drake.
This was a miserable news report. Our smartest and brightest American newspaper can be extremely lazy.