Do you remember when the Associated Press was a media institution? When it was a primary source for news? When an AP byline meant journalism you knew to be honest, accurate and trustworthy?
Those days are gone. Those days might as well never have existed. The Associated Press has become a disgrace. We all appreciate snappy truth-telling, but we’re not interested in a hack piece written by a right-wing fool. That’s what this big AP story is, some pundit-clown’s “fact-check” entitled “Fact check finds former president’s claims of compromise a stretch.” Here:
. . when former President Bill Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, he portrayed President Barack Obama as a pragmatic compromiser who has been stymied at every turn by Republicans. There was no mention of the role that the president and the Democrats have played in grinding compromise to a halt on some of the most important issues facing the country.
They’re hitting it hard. The headline, the sub-head, the first two paragraphs, they all repeat the fact-checker’s rebuttal: Nobody compromises. Well, let’s see.
CLINTON: “When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better. …Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn’t see it that way. They think government is the enemy and compromise is weakness. One of the main reasons America should re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation.”
OOPS. Again: “One of the main reasons America should re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation.” What does that say about Democrats? Nothing. Clinton only called Obama a compromiser. He said nothing of congress. But the AP’s debunk:
THE FACTS: From Clinton’s speech, voters would have no idea that the inflexibility of both parties is to blame for much of the gridlock. Right from the beginning Obama brought in as his first chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, a man known for his getting his way, not for getting along.
When did Rahm Emanuel become Barack Obama? Never. At least not yet. Or does Obama do whatever Emanuel tells him to do? Emanuel is now the mayor of Chicago, so no. If this isn’t jarring stupidity or incompetence, what is it? I don’t know. More:
One of the more high-profile examples of a deal that fell apart was the outline of a proposed “grand bargain” budget agreement between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner in 2011.
The deal would have required compromise from both sides. It slashed domestic spending more than most Democrats wanted and would have raised some taxes, which most Republicans oppose.
Boehner couldn’t sell the plan to tea party factions in the House or to other conservative activists. And Obama found himself accused of going too far by some Democratic leaders. The deal died before it ever even came up for a vote.
Can you believe it? Bill Clinton said Obama “. . is still committed to cooperation.” And the AP fact-checks the hell out of that with: “. . Obama found himself accused of going too far by some Democratic leaders. The deal died before it ever even came up for a vote.”
Obama went “too far” to appease the opposition. This is how the AP embarrasses Clinton, with strong evidence for Clinton’s claim. Who runs this circus? More:
CLINTON: “I know many Americans are still angry and frustrated with the economy. … I experienced the same thing in 1994 and early 1995. Our policies were working but most people didn’t feel it yet. By 1996, the economy was roaring, halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in American history.”
From that, here would be your fact-checker targets: 1.) policies were working 2.) by 1996 3.) the economy was roaring 4.) the longest peacetime expansion in American history. Check this debunk:
THE FACTS: But Clinton leaves out the abrupt downward turn the economy took near the end of his own second term and the role his policies played in the setting the stage for the historic financial meltdown of 2008.
Get that? This claim could have been true — “By 1996, the economy was roaring, halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in American history” — if only Bill had qualified it with this: “Incidentally the NASDAQ dropped in 2000, and I signed the Glass-Steagall Act.” The idiocy. And this:
CLINTON: “Their campaign pollster said, ‘We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.’ Now that is true. I couldn’t have said it better myself — I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad.”
Did the pollster say that? Is the quote right? Let’s ask the AP:
THE FACTS: Clinton, who famously finger-wagged a denial on national television about his sexual relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky and was subsequently impeached in the House on a perjury charge, has had his own uncomfortable moments over telling the truth. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” Clinton told television viewers.
So he couldn’t possibly be honest now whatever he says. After all nothing’s so sincere it can survive Doing Sex Things With Lewinsky. No that’s no mind-numbing opinion that’s just a fact, pal. For now that’s it from the Associated Press, that misty hilltop from whence honesty tumbles itself headlong down a one-way street . .