Oh, Canada? Even New Republic Calls Out CNN's Jim Acosta on War of 1812 Pedantry

June 7th, 2018 9:16 PM

When President Donald Trump spoke to Canada's Prime Minister on the phone recently he jokingly told him that "Didn't you guys burn down the White House during the War of 1812?" This triggered CNN's Jim Acosta to  tweet a "correction" on Wednesday. The problem is Acosta's correction was wrong as even the liberal New Republic pointed out shortly afterwards.

Let us first take a look at Acosta's rush to triumphantly correct Trump:


Um, sorry Jim but Trump was right as Jeet Heer of the New Republic acknowledged shortly after you demonstrated your lack of historical knowledge. Of course, being a liberal publication that couldn't quite bring themselves to flat out saying Trump was right but they came as close as their liberal "resistance" souls would permit with Trump is not entirely wrong about the War of 1812:

In late May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a crotchety phone argument about trade with President Donald Trump. As CNN reports, Trudeau objected to the idea that Canada was a “national security” problem (the legal justification for the tariffs Trump was introducing). Trump responded, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” Trump was referring to the famous burning of Washington conducted during the War of 1812. (The event actually took place in 1814.)

Pedants immediately jumped in to accuse Trump of an error. After all, wasn’t the torching of the White House conducted by British troops, under the command of Admiral George Cockburn?

And, of course, Jim Acosta is a pedant on steroids. Unfortunately for him he ended up looking like a fool with his "correction" since the New Republic and other outlets explained a bit of history he somehow missed:

Canada as an independent nation didn’t exist until 1867. What is now Canada was then known as British North America. When the United States fought a war with Britain from 1812-1815, it was, by definition, also fighting with Canada. In fact, one of the American goals during the war was to conquer Canada and incorporate it into the United States. In the course of the war, American troops burned the city of York (now known as Toronto). While many of the troops on the British side were from the United Kingdom and other parts of the globe, there were also many Canadian-born troops as well as Native allies (most famously the Mohawks under the leadership of John Brant).

Conservative writer Dan McLaughlin provided a useful corrective to the over-zealous fact-checkers:


Several Canadians also provided a War of 1812 history lesson to Acosta in response to his tweet.


Somehow I don't think Jim Acosta will be singing that song. He prefers to remain out of tune with historical reality especially if it puts him at odds with Trump.