Accuracy in Media

In less than a week’s time, Iowa caucus-goers have the opportunity to vote for a Democratic Party primary candidate of their choosing to officially begin the 2020 primary calendar. The state’s flagship newspaper, the Des Moines Register, announced that it endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as its preferred presidential candidate aiming to unseat incumbent President Donald Trump this fall.

The editorial board’s endorsement headline read, “Endorsement: Elizabeth Warren will push an unequal America in the right direction,” but the endorsement missed an important piece of information: Warren has trouble keeping her stories straight, if not being dishonest to both the media and potential voters.

The endorsement praised Warren’s history as a registered Republican, her role in creating the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, her enthusiasm for single-payer health insurance and climate change.

Nowhere in the endorsement did it mention Warren’s troubles with telling the truth.

For example, Warren once claimed that she was a Native American descendant, despite never being registered with a tribe. She subsequently published the results of her DNA test, which proved that she was less Native American than she had claimed. The DNA test was a public relations disaster, forcing Warren to apologize to Native American tribes for assuming that a DNA test would admit her into a tribe. This does not cover her self-identification as a minority while working as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and at Harvard University.

Other examples of Warren’s dishonesty range from her story that her father was a janitor — an account disputed by a family member — and that she claimed she was fired for being pregnant — an older interview demonstrated that she chose not to work in that job anymore.

But the Des Moines Register said that each of the Democratic Party candidates would “treat truth as something that matters.”

Also, the Des Moines Register glanced over Warren’s enthusiasm for immediately enacting single-payer insurance and said, “While the board has long supported single-payer health insurance, it believes a gradual transition is the more realistic approach.”

The newspaper also failed to mention how the CFPB’s structure was considered unconstitutional by some due to its lack of oversight by Congress and the president, where the CFPB director could be insulated from accountability from the public.


Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

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