Fact-checkers came running to President Biden's defense again. In Sunday's Washington Post, "Fact Checker" Glenn Kessler wrote an article headlined "Biden's claim that his 'great grand-pop' was a coal miner mostly pans out."
But if you read the actual article...it doesn't pan out.
Kessler admits that Biden's great grandfather Edward Blewitt was a mining engineer and a politician, not a blue-collar miner. But his choice of opening quotes includes contempt for the question at hand:
“My dad used to say, ‘Joey…’ — and I swear to God, when he left Scranton, when the coal died — my dad was not a — he was — he was a salesperson; he wasn’t a coal miner. My great-grandpop was.” — President Biden, remarks in Dearborn, Mich., May 18, 2021
“Maureen, we’re in the biggest constitutional fight in fifty years, and you want to know whether Biden’s great-grandfather was a coal miner?” — Campaign aide Tom Donilon, quoted talking to Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, in Richard Ben Cramer’s book What It Takes (1992)
Cramer's massive doorstop of a book was about the 1988 campaign, and Biden dropped out in 1987 after lying about his family history and plagiarizing speeches. But Kessler the Fact Checker gave equal billing to Biden's lies on this subject with his aide Tom Donilon scolding a reporter for caring about...the facts. (His brother Mike Donilon is President Biden's chief adviser today.)
Last month, Kessler ripped into Republican Sen. Tim Scott for making his ancestors sound poorer than they were. Sen. Scott said his grandfather was "forced out of school as a third-grader to pick cotton, and never learned to read or write. … Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime." That was true. But Kessler dug back another generation to scold Scott: "Our research reveals a more complex story than what Scott tells audiences. Scott’s grandfather’s father was also a substantial landowner."
He concluded "Scott tells a tidy story packaged for political consumption, but a close look shows how some of his family’s early and improbable success gets flattened and written out of his biography."
That elastic Scott "fact check" led readers to ask Kessler to investigate Biden's "great grandpop" line. The "mostly pans out" thing doesn't mean Biden didn't lie just now. It means Kessler dug into the files on defense. "It turns out we can find other examples of Biden making this same point...but with Biden correctly saying Edward Blewitt was a mining engineer, not a coal miner."
He concluded "Moreover, Biden's great-great grandfather was a mining inspector -- one of the first in that part of Pennsylvania. So Biden is not incorrect to suggest his family background includes involvement in mines." [Italics mine.]
Notice how slippery these "fact checkers" get when they defend Democrat exaggerations. There's no "Biden tells a tidy story packaged for political consumption, but........"