Politico, in its fervent desire to impale President Trump on his own rhetorical spear, offered the transcript of the president’s State of the Union address along with commentary from its own reporters as they fact-checked the president. The text of the speech was highlighted when Politico thought there was an inconsistency or false statement, and below was the fact-check or criticism.
But Politico’s sense of what constituted a fact-check seemed to be a tad overwrought in at least one case. Politico highlighted this from the president as he spoke about the migrant caravans headed for the U.S.: “One in three women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north.”
A 2017 report by Doctors Without Borders found 31 percent of female migrants and 17 percent of male migrants said they had been sexually abused while traveling through Mexico. For the report, the medical organization randomly surveyed 467 migrants in shelters that it supports in Mexico — what it called “a snapshot in time” based on the population available in the selected facilities.
Okay, let’s figure here. One in three women would make it …. 33.33%. And Politico was targeting the president because the actual figure was 31%.
That kind of picayune thinking is representative of why some sites have to battle for their credibility.
After the president segued to the abortion issue, he stated:
There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.
Politico tried to put a political spin on those remarks, writing, “Trump told aides ahead of his speech tonight that he saw an opening to reconnect with evangelical voters after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new abortion bill into law last month. Some White House officials believe that addressing this issue may help Trump with moderate voters, too.”
And Politico tried to minimize the horror of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s comments in which he indicated he would not be opposed to a mother who decided to let her baby die after it was born. Politico wrote that such comments were “eye-catching”:
Trump is referencing the controversy over Virginia Democrats’ abortion legislation, which has sparked protests and put pressure on Gov. Ralph Northam — who supports the bill and made eye-catching comments about “nonviable” babies.
It does seem as if Politico has an ax to grind, whether the president is correct or not.