A comment President Donald Trump made to Japanese automakers was panned by some in the mainstream media, but they were quickly corrected by other news outlets, who pointed out that they’d selectively chosen portions of the full statement to tilt the reader’s impression.
Mocking Trump’s speech to executives at top Japanese car companies on Monday, some members of the MSM recounted the president’s statement while leaving out key details, making him appear foolish.
According to Forbes, “U.S. President Donald Trump perplexed a gathering of business leaders in Tokyo this Monday with remarks about Japanese cars that metaphorically went off the road.” Forbes reported that the president “complained that American cars don’t sell in Japan” and then “touched upon the trade deficit between the two countries.”
Trump’s solution? The Japanese automobile industry should make their cars in the U.S.
“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. That’s not too much to ask,” Trump said. “Is that rude to ask?”
No, it’s not rude to ask. But the problem with that so-called solution is that many major manufacturers are already building cars in the U.S.
CNN also reported that President Trump asked Japanese automakers to “try” to build more in the U.S., using the same quote Forbes used, which was the first third of the president’s statement to the executives.
CNN ran a fact check declaring: ‘Trump asks Japan to build cars in the U.S. It already does,”which made note of the estimated 4 million Japanese cars already built in the United States, and also declared that 75 percent of Japanese vehicles sold here were built here.
Slate said the president “criticized Japan for taking advantage of the U.S. on trade, particularly when it comes to cars,” and that this raised “questions about his familiarity with basic facts about the American economy.” They also called the president’s statements “dumb.”
What the reports failed to mention was that the president did acknowledge that the automakers also build cars in the U.S., and the president’s full remarks clearly indicate he appreciates this (emphasis added):
When you want to build your auto plants, you will have your approvals almost immediately. When you want to expand your plants, you will have your approvals almost immediately. And in the room, we have a couple of the great folks from two of the biggest auto companies in the world that are building new plants and doing expansions of other plants. And you know who you are, and I want to just thank you very much. I want to thank you.
I also want to recognize the business leaders in the room whose confidence in the United States — they’ve been creating jobs — you have such confidence in the United States, and you’ve been creating jobs for our country for a long, long time. Several Japanese automobile industry firms have been really doing a job. And we love it when you build cars — if you’re a Japanese firm, we love it — try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. Is that possible to ask? That’s not rude. Is that rude? I don’t think so. (Laughter.) If you could build them. But I must say, Toyota and Mazda — where are you? Are you here, anybody? Toyota? Mazda? I thought so. Oh, I thought that was you. That’s big stuff. Congratulations. Come on, let me shake your hand. (Applause.) They’re going to invest $1.6 billion in building a new manufacturing plant, which will create as many as 4,000 new jobs in the United States. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Media organizations, including The Washington Post, called out the cherry-picking, as did social media users (see tweets below).
CNN updated the article Monday morning, paraphrasing the president’s praise of the Japanese firms. They did not include his full, direct quote.
The cherry-picking of his comments to Japanese automakers is similar to another gaffe CNN made. An early article criticized President Trump for dumping an entire box of fish food into a pond of Japanese koi, in an embarrassing display of incompetence.
Several journalists on Twitter criticized President Trump for the action, with some ridiculously claiming it could injure the fish.
A video included only showed President Trump dumping his supply. However the full-screen version of the event clearly shows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dumping his full box of food first, and the president merely following suit (see video comparison below).
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) November 6, 2017
— Kari Ruegar (@RuegarKari) November 6, 2017
— Jeff Showalter (@JeffShowalter) November 6, 2017
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 6, 2017
— Frank (@FrankDebate) November 6, 2017
Between Tapper’s meltdown, the fake fish food video, and this…
CNN’s fake news factory is running full steam.https://t.co/dIUeckiVtR
— Google “CNN,175,Sue” (@NolteNC) November 6, 2017
Another terrible start at CNN for the week. CNN selectively edits Trump’s statement on Japanese auto production. https://t.co/iMmFeZFrqO
— America MUST Unite (@chadkanera) November 6, 2017
More #FakeNews from CNN. Trump THANKED the Japanese auto makers that already build cars in the US, then asked the rest to try doing so too
— tbtmo (@tbtmo3) November 6, 2017
Donald Trump’s full quote to Japanese automakers pic.twitter.com/tw7IaO0A3c
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) November 6, 2017
Below is the video of President Trump’s speech. His remarks regarding the auto plants begin at the 12 minute mark.