Trump Falsely Claims Credit for Saving Jobs, and News Outlets Lap it Up

Trump Falsely Claims Credit for Saving Jobs, and News Outlets Lap it Up

(Wikimedia Commons)

 

How does Donald Trump plan to save American jobs? Apparently, by claiming that he’s saved the ones that were never going anywhere in the first place.   

On Thursday night, the president-elect tweeted out that he had just received a call from his “friend” Bill Ford, the chairman of Ford Motor Co., who told him that Ford will be keeping the Lincoln car manufacturing plant in Kentucky—and not sending the operation to Mexico.

Trump, of course, then claimed that he had helped keep those jobs in the country.

That’s mighty impressive for a man who hasn’t even taken his seat in the Oval Office yet. Reuters, and many other news outlets, took his claim at face value. The Reuters headline declared: “Trump says Ford not moving U.S. plant to Mexico.”

One problem: It’s not true. The company operates two plants in Louisville, Kentucky—one that manufactures the Lincoln Navigator; another that makes the Lincoln MKC and the Ford Escape. But Ford never said it was moving those sport utility vehicle plants to Mexico to begin with.

After Trump’s tweets, the company released a statement saying that it had told the president-elect that they were no longer moving an MKC production shift from Kentucky to Mexico. However, the jobs at that Kentucky plant were never at risk, as The Washington Post reported, because plans were already afoot to increase production of the Ford Escape.

“Whatever happens in Louisville, it will not lose employment,” a union vice president of the United Auto Workers told The Detroit Free Press on November 9. “They cannot make enough Escapes.”

Never mind. Trump’s tweets, and the misleading news reports that ensued, have taking hold the internet, morphing into even more inaccurate news reports, and reassuring Trump’s rabid social-media followers that he is, indeed, the savior of the American manufacturing industry. No amount of fact-checking will change that.

Lost in all this, and of course unmentioned by Trump, is that Ford is still shifting its small-car production—of vehicles like the Focus—to Mexico. This despite Trump’s threats that he institute a 35 percent tariff on imports of vehicles made there.