Media headlines rarely tell the whole story. Sometimes, they might even miss the mark completely — just like they did during President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the United Kingdom.
As the president visited perhaps our closest global allies, mainstream news outlets tripped over themselves to paint the visit in a negative light.
The focus was on malcontents, protests and a not-so-giant “Trump baby” balloon that deflated shortly after it launched, much like Hillary Clinton’s White House run.
Take this CNN headline, for instance: “London protests send clear message to Trump: You’re not welcome.” Maybe he should have called himself an illegal immigrant and been accepted with open arms.
“Trump protests: tens of thousands take to streets across UK,” The Guardian declared. If that number was accurate, the newspaper neglected to mention that Britain has a population of about 65 million people. Most apparently had better things to do.
That’s the narrative that is being spread by the mainstream media. But is it accurate? Don’t be so sure.
“Liberal media voices in the U.S. and U.K. assure their audiences that Brits are overwhelmingly united against Trump and his policies,” Fox News pointed out on Thursday.
“But here in the north of England, particularly among those who supported Brexit — Britain’s departure from the European Union — opinions of Trump are far more nuanced, with many even offering strong support of the president,” that outlet explained.
That’s the part you won’t see in most headlines. Yes, just like in America, views about the president are split overseas. Aren’t they always? But just like in the United States, a sizable number of people are giving the 45th president a chance.
“If he came here, I’d shake his hand, absolute brilliant businessman,” Dean Roberts, a British shopkeeper, told Fox News’ reporter Adam Shaw.
“He’s going to upset a lot of people, that’s what we want, he’s a true leader,” the English small businessman continued.
It’s well known that Trump “flipped” many Democrat-leaning counties, including some which previously supported Barack Obama, in order to win the presidency. A similar phenomenon seems to have occurred in Britain, where previously liberal areas swung right on the issue of Brexit.
“Barnsley, in South Yorkshire, is one such working-class town which overwhelmingly votes (liberal) Labour,” Fox explained.
“But, in 2016, 68 percent of voters voted for Britain to leave the E.U. Perhaps, then, it was not surprising to find a number of residents here with positive views of the president — particularly his dislike for political correctness,” the outlet continued.
It didn’t seem hard for reporters like Shaw to find pro-Trump voices on the other side of the Atlantic.
“Well done on being so strong and in a powerful role. You’ve upset some people, but you’ve also really got some of the community together and feel proud to be American,” U.K. citizen Amber Rose Roberts declared as a message to the president.
While Trump’s visit is certainly controversial, polls show that half of Britain supports his trip. There could be an even larger “quiet majority” that sides with the president but is hesitant to say so, much like we saw during 2016 pre-election polling.
“A YouGov poll released Thursday shows 50 percent of Brits support a working (Trump) visit, with only 37 percent suggesting it should be scrapped,” Fox reported.
“Most of the guys I speak to around here agree with (Trump),” summarized Eugene Bibby, another British shop owner in Oldham, UK. He pointed to immigration as a winning issue for the American president.
“You’ve got to control it, haven’t you?” Bibby stated. “You can’t just allow everyone in.”
Others were mindful of the historic friendship between the United States and the United Kingdom, which was tested and made firm during the epic struggles of World War I and II.
“We owe President Trump courtesy to come into our country in the memory of all the thousands of thousands of people who fought in the two world wars on our side,” said James Banister from Burnley.
That’s an important piece of wisdom from the other side of the pond. There’s no denying that Trump can get petty — and so can the media outlets who love to bash him. But there are important ties that rise above bickering and political disagreements.
The friendship between two of the greatest nations in the world is one of them … and if more Brits looked at the big picture and the world stage, they just might come to understand what the larger-than-life president is trying to do.