Trump campaign plasters The Washington Post with ads linking to claims debunked by the paper's fact checkers

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Jeva Lange
·2 min read
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President Trump has called The Washington Post "corrupt," "dishonest," "the Enemy of the People" and "100 percent NEGATIVE and FAKE," but the paper's homepage became the site of one of his biggest ad blitzes of the night as his campaign rolls out robust counter-programming against Democratic nominee Joe Biden's acceptance speech at the DNC on Thursday.

The president's ad buys were in "the high seven figures," the Trump campaign previously told CNN, and include banners on YouTube and Hulu as well. "More people will see our digital content than will watch Joe Biden's convention itself," explained Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign's communications director.

But some journalists were alarmed by the advertisements on The Washington Post's homepage in particular, seeing as the paper has been one of the leading publications when it comes to holding the Trump administration accountable. "It is shameful for the paper to take money from a president whose denunciations endanger journalists and may have contributed to the murder of its columnist, Jamal Khashoggi," tweeted Matthew Gertz of Media Matters for America. Addressing the Post, BuzzMachine's Jeff Jarvis added, "Were these pieces of silver worth the price of your soul?"

As Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at NYU, also noted, the Trump ads link to "claims debunked by the Post's own fact checkers." Most glaring is a video titled "Abolished," which claims Biden is trying to defund police departments and is viewable when you click on Trump's ad. However, The Washington Post described that claim as willfully misleading back in July; Biden in fact is on the record clearly stating "No, I don't support defunding the police."

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