How the crazy Trump Muslim database story got started
By Byron York (@ByronYork) • 11/20/15 6:59 PM
The story of Donald Trump’s call for a database, or some sort of national registry, of Muslims in the United States consumed much of the political conversation Thursday and Friday. “Trump says he would ‘absolutely’ implement Muslim database” was the headline of an AP story Friday. In short order, critics were bringing up Nazi Germany to condemn Trump’s purported proposal.
What was happening? Just to be clear right from the start, a national Muslim database seems blatantly unconstitutional, although there are terror watch lists and the FBI and other agencies certainly have some terror suspects who are Muslim, and some mosques that are suspected of ties to terrorism, under surveillance. Trump made a careless, egregious mistake by not paying attention and batting down the idea when it was first suggested to him by the press.
But exactly how did it get started? The ball began rolling on Thursday, when Yahoo Politics reporter Hunter Walker published a story based on an interview of Trump. Walker reported that “Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.”
Really? I asked Walker and Yahoo to provide a transcript or audio of the interview, and late Friday afternoon they posted a three-minute-19-second excerpt. Probably the best way to describe Trump’s reaction when Walker raised the database question is to say Trump didn’t address it at all. Trump certainly did not say, or even suggest, that he wouldn’t rule out a Muslim database.
So media folk have are writing stories National Birdcage Liner style - “quoting” Trump and other R candidates as saying things they did not say.
Bottom line: find transcripts for anything/everything the MSM attribute to R candidates. Given the way the Clinton-Sanders race is developing, that would probably be appropriate with regard to things the MSM claim they said.
FWIW, I am not a Trump fan.