Watch the speech in the video above because the Media so distored President Trumps words that Byron York was compelled to write this column to set the record straight:
DISTORTING TRUMP'S WORDS. That much news coverage is biased against President Trump goes without saying. But every now and then there comes an episode of bias so egregious that it deserves attention. The coverage of the President's July 3 speech at Mount Rushmore is one of those episodes.
Conservative intellectual Roger Kimball called Trump's speech "perhaps his most forceful and eloquent to date." The president's message, Kimball continued, was an "invitation to unity in the midst of conflict."
Indeed, Trump's theme was a call for American to unite in the face of threat.Standing in front of Mount Rushmore's massive images of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, Trump celebrated "American giants in full flesh and blood, gallant men whose intrepid deeds unleashed the greatest leap of human advancement the world has ever known."
Trump celebrated America's founding as "not only a revolution in government, but a revolution in the pursuit of justice, equality, liberty, and prosperity. No nation has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America. And no people have done more to promote human progress than the citizens of our great nation."
The Founders "enshrined a divine truth that changed the world forever when they said: 'all men are created equal.' These immortal words set in motion the unstoppable march of freedom. Our Founders boldly declared that we are all endowed with the same divine rights -- given [to] us by our Creator in Heaven."
That nation created an extraordinary people. Trump not only recounted the biographies of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. He celebrated many more. "We are the country of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Frederick Douglass. We are the land of Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody. We are the nation that gave rise to the Wright Brothers, the Tuskegee Airmen, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Jesse Owens, George Patton — General George Patton — the great Louie Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Elvis Presley, and Muhammad Ali. And only America could have produced them all." Later, Trump mentioned Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Irving Berlin, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Bob Hope, plus "the power of the Saturn V rocket, the toughness of the Ford F-150, and the awesome might of the American aircraft carriers."
But the country that produced all that greatness faces a new and dangerous threat, Trump said. "Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities. Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing. They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive. But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country, and all of its values, history, and culture, to be taken from them."
Trump specifically called out "cancel culture" that is "alien to our culture and our values" and is "a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance." "This left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution," Trump said. "In so doing, they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger, and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress.
"They would tear down the principles that propelled the abolition of slavery in America and, ultimately, around the world, ending an evil institution that had plagued humanity for thousands and thousands of years," Trump said. "Our opponents would tear apart the very documents that Martin Luther King used to express his dream, and the ideas that were the foundation of the righteous movement for Civil Rights. They would tear down the beliefs, culture, and identity that have made America the most vibrant and tolerant society in the history of the Earth."
But America will prevail, Trump declared. Equal opportunity, equal justice, open debate, tolerance, love of country -- those are the values that will ultimately win over the disorder now raging in some U.S. cities.
SO, WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THAT? To some journalists, Trump's speech -- a declaration of American greatness, description of threat, and reaffirmation of greatness -- was a nightmare of darkness. The New York Times headline for its report was "Trump Uses Mount Rushmore Speech to Deliver Divisive Culture War Message." Trump "delivered a dark and divisive speech," the Times reported, "using the holiday and an official presidential address to mount a full-on culture war against a straw-man version of the left." By doing so, especially during the increase in coronavirus cases, the Times declared, Trump "risked coming across as out of sync with the concerned mood of the country."
The Washington Post went further. In a story headlined "Trump's push to amplify racism unnerves Republicans who have long enabled him," the paper said Trump at Mount Rushmore delivered a "harsh denunciation of the racial justice movement" and caused Republicans to fear he would "forever associate[e] their party with his racial animus." Trump's 4th of July address, the Post reported, was "a dystopian speech in which he excoriated racial justice protesters" -- a continuation of Trump's "race baiting and, at times, outright racism."
To the Post, apparently, tearing down statues, or threatening to tear down statues, of George Washington, not to mention Jefferson, Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and others, is "racial justice protest."
And it wasn't just the media. Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who is now on Joe Biden's list of possible vice presidential candidates, said Trump at Mount Rushmore "spent all his time talking about dead traitors." Presumably she was referring to Confederate leaders, but she appeared to miss the fact that Trump said not one word about the Confederacy or any Confederate leaders at Mount Rushmore. He spent his time talking about Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt, plus the cast of characters mentioned above. Duckworth could not have watched or read Trump's speech. Still, her slander is unlikely to damage her chances with Biden.
ONE LESSON FROM IT ALL. This kind of reporting and commentary will not change, especially in the months preceding an election. It just won't. That is why it is important for people to go to primary sources. If you read that Trump said this or that in a speech, go watch a video of the speech. Read the transcript posted on the White House website. Judge for yourself. Perhaps you'll reach an entirely different impression from the journalists at the nation's largest media outlets.