by David Klepper, Josh Boak and Amanda Seitz of the Associated Press
This column has been sitting on my desk waiting for me to comment for some time. So it may seem outdated, but I still think some aspects of it are worth covering.
The column is an attempt to “Fact Check” President Trump’s speech during the last night of the Republican Party Convention. But who ‘fact checks” the “fact checking”. I’ll atempt to do some in this column.
Covid-19: This section of the fact checking includes the following:
“Trump: The United States has among the lowest case fatality rates of any major country anywhere in the world.”
“The Facts: Not true. Not if you consider Russia, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and India as to be major countries.”
“The U.S. sits right in the middle…”
“of the 20… followed by Bangladesh, the Philippines, Russia, Morocco, India, Argentina, South Africa and Chile.”
The journalists include several countries in their list that I suspect few people would cite as “major countries”. I doubt that Bangladesh, the Philippines, Morocco, Argentina, South Africa and Chile would show up on most peoples’ list of major countries. So if you exclude those six countries, all of which had lower mortality rates than the U.S., from the list of major countries then you find the United States near the bottom of the remaining fourteen countries. So it looks like the “journalists” had to work extra hard to find that statement “Not true.”
Black Lives Matter:
“Rudy Giuliani, …’Black Lives Matter and antifa sprang into action and, in a flash, they hijacked the peaceful protests into vicious, brutal riots.”
“The Facts: That’s a hollow claim. There’s no evidence that Black Lives Matter or antifa, or any political group for that matter, is infiltrating racial injustice protests with violence. In June, The Associated Press analyzed court records…”
The article was carried in the August 29th Gazette and refers to a speech that was given on the 27th. Yet the proof the “journalists” give to prove the statement a “hollow claim” was from a study done in June? I happen to watch Fox News most nights and almost every night since June have seen clips of the violence in Portland and other cities. Front and center are individuals who proclaim their allegiance to BLM. So again, how hard did the journalist work to attempt to prove this statement untrue? It looks like they worked pretty hard, but without success!
“Trump: “We have spent $2.5 trillion on completely rebuilding our military, which was very badly depleted when I took office…”
“The facts: That’s an exaggeration. His administration has accelerated a sharp buildup in defense spending and paused spending limits but a number of new Pentagon weapons programs… per date Trump.”
When the journalists state that the Trump administration “has accelerated a sharp buildup in defense spending and paused spending limits” haven’t they actually proved the case he was making was true? It seems so to me. In the quote he didn’t claim he started the programs, just that during his administration there has been more focus and spending on rebuilding the military than under the Obama Administration. And that is the exact same thing the journalists tell us.
“Trump: ‘We also passed VA accountability and VA Choice…”
“The Facts: False. He didn’t get Veterans Choice approved; President Obama did in 2014. Trump expanded it under a 2018 law… (that change) allows veterans to get health care outside the VA system at public expense under certain conditions.”
So what did President Obama’s VA Choice program do if it didn’t give veterans the choice to get government paid healthcare from non-VA providers? That is what Veterans Choice was supposed to be about, wasn’t it? That was something that got done while Trump was in office.
So why did the journalists work so hard to Fact Check his speech and use distorted reasoning in order to prove the claims “False, Misleading or and Exaggeration”?
Looks like ‘fact checking” the fact checkers is something that needs to be done more frequently, especially when the original fact checking is done by The Associated Press!