Consuming Journalism: Technically true, intentionally misleading

On 9 July 2017, Bloomberg Politics revealed another embarrassing gaffe for the Trump Administration. According to a Bloomberg tweet (also included below), the Trump Administration mistakenly referred to the leader of China as the leader of Taiwan. However, if you click on the link to the full article and read beyond the opening paragraphs, you learn that the White House press office referred to┬áChinese President Xi Jinping as President Xi of the Republic of China instead of the correct title, President Xi of the People’s Republic of China. The Bloomberg article later explains that the Republic of China is another name for Taiwan.

It’s an embarrassing mistake that almost certainly prompted quick clarifications by State Department personnel in Beijing and DC. There’s also a good chance that China bristled at the perceived slight. But as long as there is a People’s Republic of China and a Republic of China, that mistake in labeling is going to crop up. Bloomberg should not have used the caption that it did in its tweet. It should have stated that the Trump Administration mistakenly referred to President Xi as the President of the Republic of China instead of the People’s Republic of China. In the article, it could have then explained the significance. But that caption/tweet isn’t shocking enough to pull in the clicks.

 

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