Fact-Checking the Fact Checkers

Now that the presidential election campaigns are shifting into high gear, we can count on the press for partisan, inaccurate and illogical coverage. Time for someone to start calling them out, and I’ll do my part here in this blog in the next couple of months.

To be clear, I’m voting for no one for the office of President this year. (I voted for Sanders as a write-in in 2016,) I find Biden uninspiring, and I view Harris as an opportunistic phony. Though I appreciate Trump’s standing up to Xi Jinping, he’s proven to be just as self-centered, impetuous and immature as I predicted him to be four years ago, and as a progressive it’s unlike the GOP would come up with anyone I’d like very much.

I put in this disclaimer because my calling out the press will often concern something they’ve said that’s biased against Trump. But that’s because this is indeed where their bias typically exists. If I see incorrect or illogical statements made about Biden, I’ll call them out too.

So now NPR “fact checkers” say that the Trump/Pence claim that Biden called for defunding the police is incorrect. Biden just said that funds could be “redirected” from the police, they say. But that’s exactly what is meant by proponents of defunding the police; very few mean that to be shutting down the police, removing their funding entirely.

I tune in to NPR when I’m driving, and today I listened to part of their coverage of the GOP convention. One commentator addressed the topic of insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. The reporter noted that Trump has promised an executive order to require that, which she said “contradicts” the Trump administration’s lawsuit against Obamacare, which already has such a requirement. That’s just plain illogical. If Trump believes people with pre-existing conditions should be protected, which he has said, then it would be perfectly consistent for the Trump people to formulate an executive order to implement such protection, in place of the Obama policy they want to discontinue. (Note: I personally support Obamacare; see above disclaimer.)

In its convention coverage this evening, NPR also stated that comments by Trump and one of the speakers promising to “protect the suburbs” are anti-African American “dog whistles,” preying on suburbanites’ fears of the riots in Portland and other big cities. But the rioters are almost all white. The NPR reporter also said that the Trump campaign has miscalculated, as the suburbs now have many non-whites. This makes the absurd assumption that a nonwhite suburbanite doesn’t mind rioters as long as they are of the same color as him/her.