Accuracy in Media

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The New York Times’ zeal to highlight Sen. Marco Rubio’s history of financial problems hit a speed bump yesterday when it was revealed that its claim that the Republican presidential candidate spent “$80,000 for a luxury speedboat,” even though he had outstanding debts, may be quite an overstatement.

While the $80,000 figure isn’t in doubt, it is actually an offshore fishing boat that’s designed for “safety-minded family boaters and avid anglers,” according to the boat’s manufacturer.

The Edgewater 245CC Deep-V Center Console boat that Rubio purchased is a mid-range 24-foot boat with a single console. Edgewater boats in this series range from 15 to 36 feet long and are certainly not as fancy as their dual-console models which they refer to as a “pleasure boat, small luxury yacht, fishing boat and ski boat” in one model.

According to the Times, Rubio “splurged” on this “extravagant purchase” after receiving an $800,000 advance from a publisher to write a book about his experiences growing up as a son of Cuban immigrants, even though he thought it may have been inadvisable because it “fulfilled a dream.”

Besides the mischaracterization of the fishing boat as a luxury speedboat, the Times’ coverage of Rubio’s financial challenges has another problem. According to the Washington Free Beacon, Harold Evensky, a financial adviser who reviewed Rubio’s public financial disclosures at the request of the paper and called Rubio’s debt accumulation “staggering,” had donated $500 to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2007, a fact the Times chose not to disclose.

The story on Rubio’s finances comes on the heels of a report that the Times published on Friday about Rubio and his wife’s traffic violations over the past 18 years. They discovered that Rubio had a whopping four violations in that time period. But that clearly wasn’t enough on its own for a story, so they dragged his wife into it— since she had 13 violations—in an attempt to attack Rubio’s character.

Despite the Times’ hit pieces, Rubio may get the last laugh, as he turned the traffic ticket story into an email fundraiser.





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