AP's latest "Fact Check" only underlines how much "context" is brought to the "fact" table, and how that "context" is loaded up to the service of a liberal narrative. Omri Ceren shamed an AP “Fact Check” on Christmas: “AP publishes fact-check saying Trump is ‘recycling familiar fictions’ by tweeting money was quid pro quo for hostages.” But wait: Ceren noted that in an August 18, 2016 briefing at the State Department, AP reporter Bradley Klapper forced Obama spokesman John Kirby “to admit on camera that $1.7 billion they gave Iran was quid pro quo for hostages.”
Even before accuser Christine Blasey Ford finished testifying on Thursday in Washington, D.C., about sexual assault charges against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a reporter with the Associated Press found a way to kill the time while waiting for something significant to happen. Reporter Calvin Woodward wrote an article asking AP readers: “Will the Kavanaugh-Ford Hearing Be a Where-Were-You Moment?”
Last week was a very bad week for the establishment press, and for the leftist politicians who can't resist repeating and relaying the media's questionable "news" its journalists have been reporting as if they are clearly established facts. But you wouldn't know it from the Associated Press, which, consistent with its practice during many previous weeks, directed all eleven of its "fact-checking" efforts to statements made by President Donald Trump or members of his administration.
The Associated Press had a variety of howlers from Democrats and leftists it could have included in its May 8 (update on May 9) "fact check" roundup based on events of the past week. As those who have watched the wire service's conduct since the 2016 election campaign could have predicted, it included none, and instead solely went after the Trump administration and GOP politicians on nine different claims.
Multiple political “fact checkers” have weighed in on Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, especially when Hillary Clinton claimed Bernie Sanders “stood with the Minutemen vigilantes in their ridiculous, absurd efforts to quote, ‘hunt down immigrants.’”
What is Mrs. Clinton quoting? Did the Minutemen ever shoot an illegal alien dead? “Hunt down immigrants” surely evokes the notion or murder. AP’s Calvin Woodward took on several “eye-popping” claims about Sanders that Hillary made. He found the language “over the top,” but explained Hillary was right.
Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters made reference Tuesday to an Associated Press story headline ("Modest drop in full-time work seen from health law") indicating that the outfit I prefer to call the Administration's Press is furiously spinning in reaction to Tuesday's report from the Congressional Budget Office projecting that Obamacare will reduce full-time-equivalent employment from what it would have been without the law by 2.5 million over the next 10 years.
The underlying content of the story Ken referenced is weak, as is Calvin Woodward's longer "fact check" ("ANTI-OBAMACARE CHORUS IS OFF KEY") currently carrying an early Thursday time stamp. Woodward's piece is especially troubling in how it seems to treat work as a curse instead of a necessary component of societal progress. But let's first look at the full "modest drop" dispatch.
In a Monday dispatch about Obamacare's really bad year and future prospects at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, reporter Calvin Woodward took as a given the left's assumption that Republicans and conservatives take pleasure in the suffering of real people as long as it furthers their political aims when he wrote that "Republicans, of course ... feigned indignation that the law many of them despise wasn't working out so well." That's pure lefist projection.
The genuine indignation has two sources, Mr. Woodward. The first is that much of what has transpired as a result of the deeply flawed Affordable Care Act was predicted or known and ignored. The other is that there were red flags galore ahead of the debut of the HealthCare.gov web site that it wasn't ready. They were deliberately ignored. To name just one instance, those in charge of security wouldn't sign off on the idea of going live on October 1; of course, Team Obama launched anyway. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
43 months after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, another national establishment press outlet has called President Barack Obama's serially made promise that "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health plan" a lie. Specifically, Washington Post designated fact-checker Glenn Kessler has given it "four Pinocchios," the lowest possible rating on his scale reserved for "whoppers."
Kessler joins other press organizations admitting to the obvious way too late to matter. The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, with rare exceptions (and note that the linked analysis did not directly address the individual market), studiously avoided looking at the truthfulness of Obama's core Affordable Care Act promise for 3-1/2 years. Finally, on September 30, Calvin Woodward in Paragraph 15 of a multi-item "fact check," called Obama's pledge "an empty promise, made repeatedly." Kessler's work has one remaining hole that I will identify after presenting excerpts (HT Twitchy; links are in original; bolds are mine):
Calvin Woodward finally got around to "fact-checking" Obamacare's "slippery claims" this morning, 3-1/2 years after the Affordable Care Act became law and the day before open enrollment in its state insurance exchanges was to begin. Way to be there when it matters, Cal.
Woodward's report (also saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) also mixed in budget showdown issues, and buried President Barack Obama's original false claim, that "If you like your health plan, you can keep it," in a very late paragraph. Such courage (/sarcasm). Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
For well over two weeks, the Obama administration has been urging military action against the Assad regime in Syria for its use of chemical weapons.
At the Associated Press, in a "Fact Check" item at its "Big Story" site, Calvin Woodward told readers that "President Barack Obama voiced his conviction Tuesday night that Syrian President Bashar Assad was to blame for deadly chemical attacks against civilians, but again he offered no proof." Again? The AP reporter also questioned the number of civilian deaths involved. Excerpts follow the jump:
We should give credit to the Associated Press's Calvin Woodward, with help from AP Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta and writer Alan Fram, for calling out politicians and other gun-grabbers who have been abusing a two decades-old gun-related statistic and passing it off as if it's still factual.
That's nice, but Woodward could have saved many words, mountains of paper, and tons of bandwidth by telling readers in plain English that claims such as one made President Barack Obama that "as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check" have never, ever been true. Instead, the AP reporter used 13 paragraphs, at one point excusing researchers who came up with a 30-40 percent estimate even "with a clear picture eluding them." There was never any defensible basis for their "estimate." Excerpts from Woodward's Wednesday item following the jump:
On Monday, Calvin Woodward, with help from Martin Crutsinger and Pete Yost, produced a "Fact Check" on the budget proposal the White House released earlier that day.
After properly criticizing the administration's plan to use "about $850 billion in savings from ending the wars and steers some $230 billion of that to highways" (and actually quoting someone knowledgeable, who pointed out that "Drawing down spending on wars that were already set to wind down and that were deficit-financed in the first place should not be considered savings"), Woodward went off the rails: