Last week newspapers across the country wrote editorials critical of President Trump’s war on what he describes as “fake news.”
While it’s absolutely true that Trump’s derision is often self-serving, and his own veracity is spotty at best, the journalism industry hardly does itself any favors with nonsense like this.
Here’s Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel on Twitter criticizing Republicans for running ads in our state about immigration specifically mentioning the infamous MS-13 gang. According to Weigel that’s shoddy politics because MS-13 isn’t a thing in North Dakota:
Today I saw GOP immigration/pro-ICE attack ads that are running in North Dakota and Montana, two states where there is no record whatsoever of MS-13 activity.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) August 20, 2018
I don’t know which ads Weigel is referring to, specifically. I do know that Republicans, and Kevin Cramer’s Senate campaign, have been pounding incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp pretty hard on the immigration issue. Particularly her votes in support of sanctuary cities which protect illegal immigrants from federal authorities.
I do know that Weigel is wrong about his assertion that MS-13 has never been in North Dakota.
A simple Google search would have told him as much.
Just last year a suspected MS-13 gang member was arrested in Williston by border patrol. And then there’s this from a L.A. Times article in 2015, noting the presence of MS-13 gang members connected to the Fort Berthold Reservation:
Known as MS-13, the Los Angeles-bred gang began proliferating outside the U.S. after many of its members were deported to Central America.
One of the experts, Francisco Foppa, said he noticed MS-13 tattoos on people in a Wal-Mart in Minot and the 4 Bears Casino and Lodge at the MHA Nation’s capital in New Town. “It was alarming to see people with those tattoos on the reservation,” he said.
Weigel is one of the most prominent political reporters in the country. His tweet has received thousands of interactions. Yet it’s also false.
He posted it last night. As this morning he’s offered no correction.