Accuracy in Media


Much was made after diplomats may have laughed at portions of President Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, but the Washington Post attempted to fact-check the president’s speech only to find itself succumbing again to partisan bias.

In “Fact-checking President Trump’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly,” Glenn Kessler examines a quote from Trump: “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”

Trump “has signed few major pieces of legislation. Certainly, the whirlwind of accomplishments under presidents such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama exceed Trump’s efforts,” Kessler wrote.

“As of Sept. 12, his 600th day, Trump had signed 238 bills, most of which were minor. Trump has signed two more bills and joint resolutions than Obama and 14 more than George W. Bush but was still behind every other president since Eisenhower.”

But Trump has rolled back the Waters of the United States rule – a massive incursion on property rights – and the Clean Power Plan, and he has signed legislation to remove requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act.

He has remade American trade, moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to the capital of Jerusalem – a promise the last five presidents made but did not deliver on – and has made historic inroads with North Korea.

Trump said at the UN that “America’s economy is booming like never before.”

Kessler referred to this as “highly dubious” and said Trump can “certainly brag about the state of the economy, but he runs into trouble when he repeatedly makes a play for the history books.”

Unemployment is at historic lows for the country as a whole, as well as for women, African-Americans, Hispanics and teenagers. Two-thirds now say they believe this is a good time to find a job – the highest such total in 17 years. Consumer confidence is at a 17-year high and optimism among manufacturers and small business owners is at its highest level ever.

Food stamp applications fell 4.7 percent this June compared to the June before – the largest year-over-year decrease in the history of the program, thanks to Trump urging states to adopt work requirements.

Kessler again incorrectly savaged Trump over the American Jobs and Tax Cuts Act.

“We have passed the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history,” Trump said at the U.N.

“Trump loves this line so much he has said it more than 100 times,” Kessler wrote. “But it’s not true. His tax cut ranks eighth when measured as a percentage of the size of the economy.”

But when measured in whole dollars returned to the people from Washington, it is the largest cut ever – and whole dollars is at least as legitimate a statistic for this as percentage of the size of the economy. The Post simply refuses to acknowledge Trump’s success in this matter.

Finally, Kessler takes issue with Trump’s claim that “We cannot allow a regime that chants ‘Death to America’ and that threatens Israel with annihilation to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth.”

Kessler says, “This is a bit in the weeds, but as we have documented, it’s not entirely clear whether Iran means to annihilate Israel, such as ‘wiping it off the map.’ The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been consistent in speaking of his hatred of Israel, but without a military context. He has said his goal is the dissolution of Israel through a ‘popular referendum’ that would give power to Palestinians.”

But Kessler is incorrect.

In April, Iran threatened to “annihilate” Israel and boasted its rockets could reach anywhere in the country and would take down the Jewish state within 25 years.

“The Army will move hand in hand with the [Republican Guard, an elite Iranian military outfit] so that the arrogant system will collapse and the Zionist regime will be annihilated,” said the head of Iran’s army.




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