Another totally biased “fact check”

Another totally biased “fact check”

PE Bias Grade : F

By: Allen Nitschelm on February 9, 2020 | Article Review

This is a review of the following Boston Globe Article:
Article Title Trump repeats inaccurate claims on impeachment, Ukraine
Date 02/07/2020
Article Link Boston Globe ( Page A9 )
Syndicated From New York Times
Journalist Linda Qiu
Article Summary

“Fact checking” Trump’s state of the union speech, allegedly.

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I have to admit, I am pretty sick and tired of the media’s fake “fact check” articles. I have read several and they are all very trashy and biased. It is extremely rare to actually find that Trump made a mistake. If you don’t count his jokes (which the media pretends not to get), and simple mistakes that have no ulterior motive, most of Trump’s statements are true or are opinions.

The favorite criticism is that Trump is “misleading.” What? So when Democrats spin the facts to make their side look good, that is fine; but when Trump does that, he is criticized. Opinions cannot be fact-checked, at least logically, but that doesn’t stop the media from doing so anyway. This is why President Trump complains about certain media stories and calls them Fake News. He is exactly right.

The example in this Globe is one of the worst I’ve seen. After a speech over an hour long, it tries to prove Trump lied or made mistakes in his speech and has an entire article on the subject. But every single example save one is labeled as “misleading.”

Putting statistics in a good light for your policies is perfectly normal and acceptable. It is also understood by everyone listening. Citizens know that policies have trade-offs. When you cut regulations, for example, there is some risk. One can debate whether the benefits outweigh the risks, but cutting regulations to produce economic growth is a fact. Not stating that those regulation cuts might also increase potential harm is a given. You don’t have to mention the downside of each success. That isn’t being misleading, it is just being selective.

“Misleading” is not lying or as the article states, “inaccurate.” That is a false statement.

Just for fun, I will quickly go through each Fake News claim of Trump’s “inaccuracies” and mention why the article is wrong.

What Trump said: “A corrupt politician named Adam Schiff made up my statement to the Ukrainian president. He brought it out of thin air. Just made it up.’’

This is exaggerated.

No, that is exactly what happened. Schiff did this during his first impeachment hearing and he later claimed he was doing a “parody.” I think Schiff did this so he could frame Trump’s July 25th call in terms of it being corrupt, but Trump then released the transcript and fixed Schiff’s wagon.

President Trump’s statement was totally accurate.

What Trump said: “They said they didn’t add this word. I said, ‘Add it, they’re probably wrong, but add it.’ So now everyone agrees that they were perfectly accurate.’’

This is exaggerated.

The transcript was signed off by Col. Vindman, who originally said a few words were missing but changes were made and then he agreed that the transcript was accurate. It wasn’t a verbatim transcript in any case.

This is a matter of opinion but one can’t claim Trump is wrong if changes were made to the call transcript, and Vindman said there were.

What Trump said: “I think that’s when Comey announced he was leaking, lying and everything else, right?’’

False.

When Trump says “I think…” that means he is remembering a fact and giving his opinion on his memory. It cannot be “false.” Sorry, New York Times. The qualifier matters.

Also, Grassley’s questioning of Comey apparently elicited lies by Comey  under oath. Perhaps that’s what Trump was referring to, the idea that Comey’s cover-up was later exposed.

Trump was giving an opinion and the underlying issue, of exposing FBI Director Comey by Grassley, may be correct.

What Trump said: “We just won two seats in North Carolina, two wonderful seats in North Carolina that were not supposed to be won.’’

This is exaggerated.

The seats were won by Republicans. If either candidate was ever an underdog in the race, then he can say they “were not supposed to be won.” But even if both candidates were favorites, nothing is guaranteed, especially after the 2018 election when Democrats had large gains in the House. For poetic license reasons alone, Trump gets a pass on this.

I did try to find some facts to back up Trump’s assertion. After the Bishop win, Trump tweeted out, “Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago.” If that is true, then Trump’s statement was true.

What Trump said: “We are putting up walls in New Mexico, too; a state that has never been in play for Republicans is totally in play, right?’’

This is exaggerated.

The Times journalist objects to Trump’s word “never.” This is another poetic license issue. If the state went for Obama and Hillary Clinton, then Trump’s statement is perfectly fine.

Hillary 48%, Trump 40%

Obama 52%, Romney 42%

Obama 56%, McCaine 42%.

What Trump said: “We had first time in 51 years where drug prices actually came down last year, first time in 51 years.’’

This is misleading.

Another poetic license issue. The Times reporter says that under this measure, prices also came down in 2013. Sounds like nit-picking to me.

——=——

Allen Nitschelm is publisher of PublicEditorMA.com. He critiques the Boston Globe, mostly focusing on the bias in their news reporting. News articles are graded for bias, and the website has a listing of the average bias ratings for all reporters reviewed. See our website for more information and the four categories of articles we publish.

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