The media, desperate to find falsehoods in President Donald Trump’s Oval Office address Tuesday night, conducted misleading “fact checks” on their websites.
Before the president even delivered his address, news outlets promised that they would be fact-checking Trump’s claims on illegal immigration, warning the American people that the speech would be full of false statements. However, the media didn’t find the lie-laced address that they were expecting and ended up publishing “fact checks” that refused to simply admit the president was correct.
CBS News, for example, conducted a live fact check on their website in preparation for misstatements from the president. But the claims they checked turned out to be true, “probably true,” and “accurate…but it needs context.” Just one claim — that Democrats requested steel slats rather than a concrete wall — was rated “false” based on a statement by a representative for Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The New York Times fact checked the president’s claim that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encounters thousands of illegal immigrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border daily. According to The NYT, the claim is “misleading” because about 1,700 immigrants per day are apprehended at the border for trying to enter illegally.
The NYT reported:
“The agency also deemed another 10,600 “inadmissible,” which refers to people who seek lawful entry into the United States but are barred from doing so. Together, that would be over 2,000, but ‘inadmissible’ is not the same thing as illegal entry.”
In addition, The NYT nitpicked the president’s statement that Democrats previously supported a physical border barrier, claiming that the statement “needs context.”
Despite admitting that dozens of Democrats voted for a 2006 bill that “authorized about 700 miles of fencing along the southwest border,” the NYT also added that Democrats did not vote for a “concrete wall” as the president proposed during his 2016 campaign. The president did not claim that they had done so.
CNN similarly added caveats to Trump’s factually true statements, such as his claim that “1 in 3 women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico.”
CNN again admitted that this was true, adding that the number of women who are sexually assaulted during the trek could be even higher. Unsatisfied with simply rating the president’s claim true, CNN added, “But this very violence is also why women have chosen to travel in caravans.”