News Outlets Amplify False Claim Trump Saved Ford Plant From Moving To Mexico

A photo shows the gate of  Trump Tower  where U. S. President-elect Donald Trump  lives  in New York on Nov. 18, 2016. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a meeting with Donald Trump. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )
Koichi Nakamura/Yomiuri Shimbun

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted a false claim Thursday night about saving a Kentucky Ford plant from moving to Mexico. By the next day, a handful of reputable news agencies had blasted out credulous headlines that bolstered that falsehood.

“Just got a call from my friend Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, who advised me that he will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky – no Mexico,” Trump tweeted. “I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me!”

Not so: Ford Motor Company operates two plants in the state, neither of which had planned on moving to Mexico. On Thursday night, Ford announced that one of its plants in the Bluegrass State, the Louisville Assembly Plant, would continue manufacturing the Lincoln MKC, the production of which they had previously considered moving to Mexico.

Even if production of that one model had moved to Mexico, the Louisville plant would not have lost any jobs, according to a statement from the company last November. Employees at the Louisville plant would have simply shifted to producing more Ford Escapes.

Many news outlets reprinted Trump’s claim Thursday night, and some continued to propagate it Friday morning.


ABC News:

Washington Examiner:


Wall Street Journal:

Louisville Business First:

The Louisville Courier-Journal:

The New York Times and National Public Radio, on the other hand, provided a model for appropriately skeptical headlines.


New York Times:

Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Managing Editor:
Senior News Editor:
Assistant Editor:
Editor at Large:
Investigations Desk:
Senior Political Correspondent:
Senior Editor:
Front Page Editor:
Social Media Editor:
Editor for Prime & Special Projects:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: