Press now using 'fact-checking' to shout down President Trump

Anybody notice anything creepy about the press coverage of the president's State of the Union message?  What I saw, on my Apple News feed last night, was a string of "fact-check" stories from the nets and the major print media rolling across my iPhone feed.  It was literally three in a row, with no story on the actual State of the Union address, not even a transcript.  It's as if the press has turned the whole thing into a de facto exercise of shouting the president down with hollers of "lies!" before his message could even get out.  They're doing it under the rubric of "fact-checking."  CNN is now calling it the "Super Bowl" of fact-checking.  Did we see this under President Obama?  Not at all.  Last night, I was in coding class (don't laugh – I like to code) when the SOTU was given, and with one eye on the speech via my cell phone and the other on my JavaScript exercise, I didn't see a thing about the actual speech.  All I saw on the Apple News feed was this endless string of "fact-checks" of the president's speech with obvious bias about what the "facts" actually were.  The story itself didn't seem to make the cut for news, because it was drowned out by the press reaction.

Apple News, in fact, had some biased news teases, all focused the "truth" of Trump's speech, in its bid to get me to click, which on the news feed came and went, but I did look up some of these stories after class, and here is what I found.  

ABC News:

State of the Union fact check: What President Donald Trump claimed


Our team of journalists from ABC News investigated some of Trump's statements and one of Abrams', looking for additional context, detail and information.

Here is ABC News' fact check of the address[.]


President Trump's second State of the Union address provided an opportunity for him to make his case to Congress and the country, halfway through his term.

But it also provided ample opportunity to offer statistics and claims that need to be checked.  Here are some of the claims the commander-in-chief made Tuesday night as he addressed the country, and the facts surrounding those claims.

New York Times:

President Trump appeared in front of a joint session of Congress for the annual address.  Here is how his remarks stacked up against the facts.


The two issues [the economy and immigration] dominated his address, which in tone was more measured than his biting Twitter feed, but in substance contained numerous claims that were false or misleading.

Here is what Mr. Trump said and how it stacked up against the facts.

Associated Press:

WASHINGTON – The Associated Press is fact-checking remarks from President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech. Here's a look at some of the claims we've examined[.]

USA Today:

Follow along as the USA TODAY Network fact-checks Donald Trump's State of the Union

NBC News:

President Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, where he re-enforced his immigration agenda, slammed "ridiculous partisan investigations" and announced he would meet with North Korea's Kim Jong Un for a second time later this month.

NBC News fact-checked his State of the Union address as it happened.

Chicago Sun-Times headline, citing AP:

FACT CHECK: The truth (or not) in Trump’s State of the Union claims

First thing that leaps out at me is how neatly this "fact-check" drown-out of Trump's actual speech stacks up exactly with Democratic Party's talking points – it's a truth-and-lies theme.  Here's the VOA headline summarizing Stacey Abrams's breathy Democratic Party response to the speech:

Abrams: Trump Needs to Tell Truth, Respect 'Diversity That Defines America'


Abrams: 'We need Trump to tell the truth'

Toilet-mouthed Amanda Marcotte, writing for Salon:

Donald Trump 2019: Same lying racist he was last year

See how it works?  They claim it's all about truth and lies.

But if you look closely, you can see that none of these fact-checks is about that – ABC News, for instance, makes Trump's statements, which it doesn't like, all about "context" since the network's staffers don't dare call them actual lies.  Almost all of ABC's so-called fact-checking is about "context," which is to say expounding the Democratic point of view, trying to pooh-pooh President Trump's stellar economy based on his tax cuts and deregulation.  ABC isn't alone.  How's this for an irrelevant argument under the claim of fact-check?  The New York Times says President Trump's stellar economy is a lie because Latvia and its tiny economy posted a higher growth rate.  You can bet the Times spent time looking up that one. 

It's all a bid to shout the president down with the media's version of "facts" as Democrats see them.

They never showed such fact-check zeal when President Obama was in office.  Back then, "fact-checks" on the SOTU were mostly done by "professional" fact-checking outfits of left-wing jib, such as PolitiFact, which always came up "true" and "mostly true" ratings on the most egregious claims uttered by Obama.  Often such "truth-tellers" would zero in on some of the most obvious things and give him a "true" rating.  But more often, they'd let context slip and put their stamp of approval on Obama's most spurious claims, such as, in PolitiFact's case, a nod to Obama's claim that Obamacare "created" jobs, citing the zero-context fact that jobs grew under Obamacare, instead of the ugly reality most Americans knew, that virtually the only the jobs that formed were part-time "gig economy" jobs with no health care, a strong signal of how Obamacare was dampening the job market.

Other so-called fact-checks of Obama was pure opinion.  Does this NPR apologia of an Obama SOTU under the title of "fact-checking" sound like fact-checking of any kind?


And we begin with the president's upbeat assessment of the economy last night. He said the economy is creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis.

INSKEEP: NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley was listening in. And, Scott, is that the full picture?

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Well, it was certainly the most full-throated defense of the economy we've heard from President Obama. He's usually been very careful about describing the economic turnaround. He doesn't want to seem out of touch with people who are still struggling, and he doesn't want to be caught short if there's another slowdown as has happened in years past. So this was the time when I think he really put caution aside and said, hey, the economy is really coming back.

This person was actually pretending to read Obama's mind, and that is what passed for "fact-checking."

The double standard on Obama aside, notice also that there's virtually no fact-checking on Democratic respondent Stacey Abrams's claims in her speech, despite the fact that the speeches were treated with equal weight by the press.  Fact-check for Trump, but not his opponent.

Politico's teaser headline in its string of SOTU reports reads: live analysis of the Democratic response from Stacey Abrams, following the State of the Union.  See how it works?  Abrams gets "analysis" (all of it favorable), and Trump gets "fact-checked."

What was have here is a glimpse into how the sausage is made as the press seeks to spin a "narrative" on behalf of its leftist masters.  The media are going all in for "fact-checking" to shout President Trump down and make the speech all about their version of events.  Any questions as to why the public does not trust the press anymore?

A CNN Instant Poll shows that 76% of Americans approved of Trump's message.