NPR Falsely Claims Vieira 'Passively' Dealt With Trump's Birtherism
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR's David Folkenflik erroneously claimed that NBC's Meredith Vieira "notably failed to contradict Donald Trump or others casting doubt on where Mr. Obama was born. Vieira...acknowledged those remarks passively." In reality, the Today show challenged the billionaire about the birth certificate issue, twice asking, "Do you believe he's [Obama's] lying?" [audio clips available here]
The media correspondent began his report by noting how "there comes a moment in almost every American presidency when the commander-in-chief turns media-critic-in-chief." After playing two clips from President Obama's press conference earlier in the day regarding the release of his birth certificate, he continued, "Mr. Obama said that for too long, the nation has been distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers. Notice, however, the President's words didn't criticize the carnival barker. He criticized those who get distracted, like the press corps sitting in front of him."
Folkenflik then singled out Vieira, along with ABC's Christiane Amanpour, for their supposed timidity in pressing the most prominent birthers in interviews:
FOLKENFLIK: Some television interviews recently- and there have been a bunch- notably failed to contradict Donald Trump or others casting doubt on where Mr. Obama was born. NBC's Meredith Vieira and ABC's Christiane Amanpour acknowledged those remarks passively. Amanpour did not challenge the Reverend Franklin Graham when he said this-
REVEREND FRANKLIN GRAHAM (from ABC's "This Week"): The President, I know, has some issues to deal with here. He can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly. I don't know why he can't produce that.
Notice that the NPR reporter didn't support his claim by playing sound
bites from specifically from Vieira or Amanpour. In the case of the NBC
host's interview of Trump, it is abundantly clear that transcript
doesn't support Folkenflik's assertion: