Trump in Vegas: the fine line between opinionated reporting and dishonor
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Trump in Vegas: the fine line between opinionated reporting and dishonor

October 5, 2017

The Raw Data

Unspun and unbiased. These are the facts.

Trump visits Las Vegas after shooting that killed 59, injured 489

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump flew to Las Vegas to meet with victims of Sunday night’s shooting, their families, law enforcement and emergency personnel. He visited a hospital and a police station during his four-hour stay. Before the trip, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the purpose of the visit was to “grieve with the friends and family of the victims” and to offer “support to those recovering from wounds and thank courageous first responders.”

Joining him on the trip were first lady Melania Trump, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Representative Mark Amodei (R-Nev.). The first stop on the trip was the University Medical Center. During a 90-minute stay, Trump met with eight families affected by the shooting, and listened to their stories. He also met with around 100 medical professionals. In prepared remarks after the visit, Trump said the doctors were doing an “indescribable” job. To the victims and their families, he said, “We know that your sorrow feels endless. We stand together to help you carry your pain.”

After the hospital visit, Trump went to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police headquarters, meeting police officers and dispatchers who had responded to the shooting on Sunday. He did not visit the site of the shooting.

When asked whether the shooting warranted a renewed look at increased gun control, Trump said, “We’re not going to talk about that today.”

The shooting happened Sunday night, when Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on a crowd attending an outdoor country music festival. The shooter was located on the 32nd floor of the adjacent Mandalay Bay hotel. He killed 58 people before shooting himself; another victim died Tuesday night. The media originally reported 527 injured. That number has been revised to 489, of which 317 have now been discharged from the hospital. Police are still investigating to determine the shooter’s motive.

Additional sources: The Associated Press, ABC News

Distortion Highlights

  • Some news outlets’ prognoses on Trump’s visit to Las Vegas focused on the issue of gun control, and what he would or wouldn’t say about it.
  • Others seemed to have used the news to disparage the president and suggest he’d fail to deliver during his visit.
  • Sunday’s tragedy may help elucidate how opinion-based reporting can promote dishonor and why, especially in media, it’s never a good thing.  

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