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A postmortem on the media’s ‘fact-checking’ of POTUS Trump’s state of the union: Diagnosis FAIL

By J. D. Heyes

When the so-called “mainstream media” (MSM) created the concept of ‘fact-checking’ it at least seemed admirable on the surface and, for that matter, a job that was naturally suited to a free press charged with comforting the afflicted and holding those in power to account.

But after some years it’s become obvious that the MSM was never really interested in checking facts — that is, not all facts espoused by all people in power.

Democrats don’t get fact-checked, at least not with the same ‘vengeance’the MSM reserves for Republicans and conservatives…and POTUS Donald Trump. While our president does, at times, stretch the truth or even get details wrong, at least he hasn’t looked all of us in the eye and told us things like, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” and “We’re going to lower your premiums by $2,500 a year.”

Needless to say, within minutes after POTUS Trump began his State of the Union Address Tuesday, the Lefty MSM had its ‘fact-checkers’ hard at work looking to hold the president accountable for virtually every syllable. (Related: MASSIVE hit: Trump’s State of the Union Address scores 76 percent approval in post-speech survey.)

As noted by the Washington Examiner, much of what passed for MSM fact-checking was “petty, pedantic, and pointless,” meaning that “the fact check is dead.”

Writing for the news site, Becket Adams acknowledged that the president got some things wrong, but that isn’t very surprising since the address “wasn’t exactly a smorgasbord of falsehoods, either.”

As such, the MSM fact-Nazis “be-clowned themselves” with inane claims like, essentially, ‘Jews don’t believe in Heaven.’ At one point, the president introduced a Holocaust survivor, Joshua Kaufman, who was interned at the horrific Dachau concentration camp. POTUS said that Kaufman recalled watching American tanks roll in through a hole in a cattle car where he was being held. “To me,” Joshua recalls, “the American soldiers were proof that God exists, and they came down from the sky. They came down from Heaven.”

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    Don’t ever mention, as president, Heaven while introducing a Jewish guest — while The New York Times’ Annie Karni is ‘fact-checking.’ “Jews don’t believe in Heaven,” she tweeted.

    Except that they do. 

    Meanwhile, Politico’s brainiac fact-checker dinged the president for claiming that “one-in-three [female migrants] is sexually assaulted on the long journey north.”

    Nuh-uh! It’s 31 percent; one-in-three is 33.3 percent! Trump lied by 2.3 percent!

    Then National Public Radio sort of, kind of, not really “fact-checked” POTUS when he said that “exactly one century after Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time.”

    That’s true. But NPR posted this in response: “FACT CHECK: President Trump praised the record number of women in Congress, but that’s almost entirely because of Democrats, not Trump’s party.” So what? That’s not fact-checking, that political statement-making. And it’s petty.

    Breitbart News’ John Nolte found nine instances where the media fact-checkers were not just off-base, but ridiculously so, compiling a “series of tedious nit-picks” as their sources of presidential ‘fibbing.’

    For example, The New York Times rated as “false” the president’s description of the illegal border crossings and other activities as a “national emergency.”

    False?

    NYTimes fact-checkers don’t get to decide such things; presidents do. It’s in the law. It’s in the Constitution. But even so, the paper went on to admit that, yeah, “a record number of families have tried to cross the border in recent months” — which has become a national emergency. 

    There are many more, but you get the idea. The point is, as Becket Adams noted, fact-checking is indeed broken; the nitpicking and petulance demonstrated by the MSM fact-Nazis was the stuff of haters, not journalists who are serious about informing the public of what’s truly important regarding the state of the union.

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  • 1 Comment on A postmortem on the media’s ‘fact-checking’ of POTUS Trump’s state of the union: Diagnosis FAIL

    1. In other words, “Fake News!”

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