President Donald Trump took to his Twitter account on Friday afternoon to lodge a few complaints about the media’s focus on the midterm election results — namely, their inattentiveness toward outcomes in Senate races that expanded the gap between the GOP and Democrats in that particular chamber of Congress.
Trump implied that news companies that chose not to put their focus on those Senate outcomes were part of the “fake news media.” He also suggested that Americans were being left in the dark about the outcome of Senate races.
“People are not being told that the Republican Party is on track to pick up two seats in the U.S. Senate, and [sic] epic victory: 53 to 47,” Trump wrote. “The Fake News Media only wants to speak of the House, where the Midterm results were better than other sitting Presidents.”
That may not be exactly a truthful assessment by the president. In terms of other midterm election results since 1974, the party of the sitting president has only lost more seats in Congress than this year’s results three times. In eight other occasions, the president’s party has lost fewer seats than were lost by the Republican Party in the House in 2018, according to reporting from CNN.
Just in: As confusion continues over the outcome of multiple Florida elections, a hand recount has been ordered the narrow Senate race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott. https://t.co/cOC95dfc2p
— NPR (@NPR) November 15, 2018
The media has put some focus on the outcomes of the Senate, but the focus has largely been put on the results of the House races due in large part to the fact that it changed party hands after the elections last week. That creates a storyline that is necessary to discuss, of a split government that Trump will have to work with in the upcoming Congressional term.
The outcome of the Senate races wasn’t unexpected all too much, either. The map generally favored the Republican Party long before the midterm races even began, according to reporting from the Hill in 2017. Democrats, simply put, had to defend more vulnerable seats than Republicans did.
Trump has made several attacks on the media this week — including lambasting news sources like CBS, ABC, and NBC as part of the “fake news,” per reporting from the Inquisitr. Reportedly, the president frequently uses the term to denounce reporting he doesn’t like.
The president’s purporting that news is ignoring the Senate outcomes is appears inconsistent with reality, however, for two reasons. First, news outlets (such as the New York Times, for example) have reported on wins in the Senate, although they haven’t been able to call two races because their outcomes aren’t official yet.
Second, the moniker of “fake” news implies that the reporting is wrong or inaccurate. By definition, reporting that Trump says doesn’t exist cannot be “fake” because it isn’t out there to disseminate inaccurate coverage of a news item to the populace.