I opened the newspaper, saw the headline, and thought, Oh, Lord – in black and white right in front of me the New York Times headline roared: Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea.
Then, a moment later, further down into the article I read exactly what Donald Trump had said to the United Nations: “If the United States is forced to defend itself or its allies, ‘we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.’”
The Times headline had Trump making a threat.
But what Trump had actually said was a warning – If you attack us, we will have no choice but to destroy you.
Of course, either way, boasting I will ‘totally destroy’ you wasn’t gentile southern manners but, at the same time, there was also no getting around the fact the Times twisted Trump’s words.
Which is a problem.
How we see Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump and North Korea’s nuclear missiles is based on what we read in the newspapers; it’s based on a picture the media paints and when they paint a false picture – whether it’s out of bias or blindness or greed – there’s a price to be paid, and, before all’s said and done, the New York Times pictures may turn out to be as deadly as Kim Jong Un’s missiles.