Media Bias: Rucker says Trump guilty of 'racist comments,' 'segregationist imagery and tropes'

Philip Rucker wrote that the president "has made racist comments and used segregationist imagery and tropes throughout his presidency."

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Flagging reporters for crossing the line between fact and opinion
(Just the News)
Last Updated:
June 5, 2020 - 10:24pm

With the Neutral Zone Infraction, Just the News tries to do its part to maintain the line between fact and opinion in American journalism by blowing the whistle each week on an egregious example of slanted coverage by reporters. This week's offender: Philip Rucker.

Washington Post White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker in an article this week asserted that President Trump "has made racist comments and used segregationist imagery and tropes throughout his presidency."

The comment from Rucker, who also serves as a "political analyst for NBC News & MSNBC" came in the context of President Trump touting his record regarding black Americans. 

"I’ve done more for Black Americans, in fact, than any President in U.S. history, with the possible exception of another Republican President, the late, great, Abraham Lincoln ... and it’s not even close," Trump tweeted this week.

"Trump often cites job growth and the enactment of criminal justice reform in assessing his achievements for black Americans as historic," Rucker wrote. "Yet black and brown people have suffered more than whites from the coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying economic collapse, and Trump has made racist comments and used segregationist imagery and tropes throughout his presidency."

The comment ventures into the territory of opinion. A journalist's job is to report what people say and do, but news consumers can decide if they consider President Trump's past comments racist — if, that is, they are supplied with the relevant factual background. Rucker presented his comment as a fact and did not provide any supporting examples within the article.

But in an article Sunday he wrote the following: "A few hours earlier on Saturday, Trump said on Twitter that demonstrators outside the White House on Friday night were met by Secret Service agents with 'the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen,' a seeming reference to the law enforcement practices in America’s segregationist past. He said many agents are 'just waiting for action' and claimed that one had told him that fighting protesters was 'good practice.'"

Rucker also noted that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted, "There are no vicious dogs & ominous weapons. There is just a scared man. Afraid/alone ..."

Just the News reached out to Rucker, who said it was Post policy to allow public relations to handle comment requests and that he would have them respond to ours. Just the News attempted to contact the public relations department but has not yet received a response.
 

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