Shoddy journalism is running rough-shod over the high-stakes 2016 presidential election, as evidenced by two trending stories.
One being advanced by sources on the right is that audio recorded at a Hillary Clinton campaign event captures the Democratic nominee badmouthing millennials who supported Bernie Sanders. The phrase “basement dwellers,” which figures largely in the trumped-up (sorry, there is no other word) reports, was never uttered by Clinton, who if anything was attempting to empathize with what she termed the “children of the Great Recession” who “are living in their parents’ basement.” Never mind that these basement dwellers are there largely as a result of Barack Obama’s job-killing regulations. Never mind either that Clinton has promised to double down on these policies if she is elected.
The second — and much larger — story is that the New York Times obtained and published Donald Trump’s tax returns from 1995, which show that the GOP nominee real estate mogul took a nearly billion-dollar loss that year.
But the Times doesn’t stop just there. The headline and article go on to posit that the real estate mogul could have avoided paying taxes for nearly two decades as a result of the loss. Notice the wording:could have. It’s purely speculative, but it’s also the only part of the headline Joe Q. and Jane A. Public are likely to internalize.