Following The Washington Post correction two days ago, Reuters today also corrected the erroneous claim that “Pittsburgh Jewish leaders” penned a letter to President Trump telling him he is unwelcome at memorial events for the Tree of Life massacre victims. The erroneous headline of Reuters’ Oct. 29 article was: “Pittsburgh Jewish leaders tell Trump to denounce white nationalism.”
The story’s first paragraph repeated the error, stating:
Jewish leaders in Pittsburgh on Monday called on President Donald Trump to condemn white nationalism unequivocally after he said he will visit the synagogue where a gunman killed 11 worshipers over the weekend. (Emphasis added.)
In fact, the authors of the letter in question were 11 members of the Pittsburgh branch of a marginal left-wing advocacy group Bend the Arc. It is not a Jewish communal organization which represents the Pittsburgh Jewish community at large. “Pittsburgh Jewish leaders” are the leadership of the Jewish establishment in the city, such as the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. As for the Federation, the actual Pittsburgh Jewish leaders, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported:
“There are going to be people in the Pittsburgh Jewish community who are very angry Trump is visiting, and there are going to be people who are very happy Trump is visiting,” the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh said in a statement. “We are in the unusual position of representing all of Jewish Pittsburgh.
“We are doing the best we can to make this not a political issue,” the statement went on. “We should also be united against terrorism, racism, anti-Semitism and any kind of hatred. This is a moment where we’re all Americans.”
In response to communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, Reuters commendably corrected both the headline and the article. The amended headline now accurately states: “Jewish group to Trump after Pittsburgh: denounce white nationalism.” In addition, editors commendably amended the first paragraph. It now reports:
Members of a Jewish advocacy group in Pittsburgh on Monday called on President Donald Trump to condemn white nationalism unequivocally after he said he will visit the synagogue where a gunman killed 11 worshipers over the weekend.
Furthermore, editors prominently placed a note at the top of the article alerting readers to the correction. It states:
(The story corrects headline to reflect that signatories of open letter to President Trump were members of a local Jewish advocacy group, not Jewish leaders; corrects first paragraph to reflect the same in October 29 item.)
Bend the Arc is misleading the media with its inaccurate title “Letter from President Trump by Pittsburgh Jewish Leaders.” Journalists who take the misinformation at face value without fact-checking are misrepresenting Pittsburgh’s actual Jewish leaders, and doing their readers a disservice.