On 1 September American readers were surprised to see two directly opposite headline about the same story involving the Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump in Wall Street Journal. The first headline, published in the morning (to the left below), said that Trump had softened his stand on the issue of immigration after meeting Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. However, the same newspaper published on the same date, also carried a contradictory headline saying he had toughened his stand on immigration.
This caused many conspiracy theories with one of them being that Wall Street Journal had deliberately carried two headlines to cater to readers in different geographical locations primarily to sway voters away from Trump.
According to the theory widely circulated on Facebook, the WSJ’s headline, “Trump Softens His Tone,” was meant for pro-Trump market area in an attempt to sway readers away from the Republican nominee. And the other headline, “Trump Talks Tough on Wall,” was allegedly published keeping non-Trump market area in mind to bolster support for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
However, this theory was widely rejected particularly after the WSJ’s communications department issued a clarification.
Colleen Schwartz, the Vice President of Communications of WSJ, said that the edition on the left was published after Trump met Nieto early in the day. Schwartz added that the first headline reflected the ‘seemingly cooperative tone of their discussion.’
The edition on the right was reportedly published after Trump delivered a speech on immigration later in the day, and therefore, reflected his hardened stand that he would force Mexico to pay for the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The US Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in November this year. Trump camp has often accused a large section of the media of hatching a plot to cause his defeat.
Trump, who’s currently trailing Clinton in opinion poll. has been involved in many controversies because of his anti-Muslim and anti-immigration comments.