What is the public record?
National Public Radio (NPR) reporter David Folkenflik tweeted Thursday morning: “If you’re in the news business, it’s malpractice to carry Giuliani’s press conference live at length without any cut ins to note the myriad ways the public record contradicts him.”
Folkenflik, who is NPR’s media correspondent, was referring to a press conference to be held later Thursday by President Donald Trump’s legal team, where Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and others set forth allegations of fraud in the election. Folkenflik, who claims to be an expert, argues that journalism ethics require the media to interrupt the press conference at will to correct Trump’s legal team.
Folkenflik’s reasoning is commonly known as circular reasoning.
He adopts the premise that the public record is correct and therefore Trump’s legal team is incorrect to the extent that its arguments conflict with the public record. It flows from this that Trump’s claim the election was stolen must be false because the public record shows that Republican Joe Biden won.
Affidavit = Evidence
At the press conference, Trump’s legal team outlined its strategy to challenge the public record.
Giuliani pointed to a centralized pattern of voter fraud that focused on big cities controlled by Democrats, and especially those with a long history of corruption.
“What do we have to do to get you to give the American people the truth,” asked Giuliani. “This is real. It is not made up.”
Guiliani said the Trump team has evidence, including signed and sworn affidavits, that will be presented to a judge at an appropriate point. “Whether you agree or disagree with an affidavit, it’s evidence. You’re lying to the American people when you say there is no evidence,” he said.
Ignorance Of Legal System
Meanwhile, Jenna Ellis, Trump’s senior legal advisor, acknowledged that many reporters covering the press conference have no experience covering courts and do not understand how the legal system works.
“This is not a Law and Order episode where everything is easily wrapped up in 60 minutes,” said Ellis, noting that under ordinary circumstances it takes many months to prepare litigation for court.
Ellis called it “absolutely shocking” that the media has failed to report on evidence of election irregularities. She called it a violation of journalism ethics “that all you cover is around the margins.”
Ellis pleaded with journalists to do their job. “This is about making sure that election integrity is preserved and every American should want that,” she said.
So here’s what NPR and NPR reporter Pam Fessler had to say about the press conference:
“Though all evidence points to the contrary, President Trump’s campaign is insisting that Trump has a path to reelection victory and that it will pursue legal challenges to results in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin…
But the president has repeatedly and falsely said the election was riddled with fraud, and in a lengthy, conspiracy-filled news conference in Washington, D.C., his attorneys, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, claimed they had hundreds of affidavits from voters and election workers that would prove Trump won the election.”