On Tuesday, Trump complained (via Twitter, of course) about the cost of Boeing’s contract to build the new Air Force One fleet.
Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016
Not surprisingly, Trump’s tweet is misleading. Politifact calls it half-true, pointing out that not only is Trump’s figure overstated, but it lacks important context. That lack of context is probably a good reason why presidents shouldn’t be making statements like this on Twitter.
Here’s how CNBC reported the story:
As Trump pushes back on Boeing, consider this: His private jet cost a fraction of Air Force One https://t.co/hcs5HC5ASp
— CNBC (@CNBC) December 6, 2016
The CNBC article includes this passage beginning in sentence three:
Trump’s plane has gold seat buckles, gold faucets, gold inlaid in the wood and gold lighting hardware. It’s also got a state-of-the-art multimedia system for watching movies and live TV anywhere in the world, and it’s got leather seats custom-dyed with Trump’s favorite color, and the Trump family crest is embroidered on all the sofas, seats and cushions.
It’s not until paragraph six that we learn, “Air Force One is a technology marvel, with an anti-missile system, scramblers, massive communications systems and back-up systems. So the two aircraft are not really comparable.”
This is what “normalization” of Trump’s bullshit looks like. CNBC should be ashamed of themselves for headlining their article with a ridiculous comparison and burying important details deep in the story.
For a good laugh or two at CNBC’s expense, click on their tweet above and read some of the replies.
For an example of how this story can be reported in a way that provides meaningful information to readers, check out this article from the Washington Post. Under the headline “The inaccuracies in Donald Trump’s Air Force One tweet” the Post compares Trump’s tweet to the facts instead of comparing a private plane to Air Force One.
You know what would really piss off Trump and CNBC? If you subscribed to my email list to receive updates whenever something new is posted here. Actually, Trump and CNBC won’t care at all. But I’d appreciate it, and it’s the best way to make sure you don’t miss anything. Just click on this link to access the subscription form. My list if spam free and you can unsubscribe at any time.