D.L. Stewart: Sometimes 'fake news' is really fake news

For over half a century as a journalist, I've defended my chosen profession against attacks from the right, the left and everywhere in-between. But it's not always easy. 

On April 18, it was impossible.  

"Twitter Users Shred Donald Trump Over Barbara Bush Tribute Typo," the early morning HuffPost headline declared. So I immediately clicked on it to see what our president had done this time.  

Barbara Bush visits Middletown just before the 1988 election.

>> Did you know Barbara Bush’s grandfather founded the Dayton Rotary?

Here's the Barbara Bush tribute posted by the White House, which I have copied and pasted (see if you can spot why Twitter users shredded President Trump for it:) 

To their credit, most Twitter users reacted with understanding: few mocking comments, followed by a whole lot of messages such as, "Haven't you ever made a mistake?" And, "I'm still writing 2017 on my checks."  

To its discredit, the HuffPost chose to characterize that as shredding.  

Leaving aside the question of whether the tribute was personally written by the President or by a soon-to-be-unemployed functionary in the press office, the headline was the kind of partisan nit-picking that leads so much of the public to disparage the news media and question its veracity.  

For its contribution to that skepticism, HuffPost deserves to be shredded.

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