Why Did WaPo Let Ocasio-Cortez Skate By In Its Green New Deal Fact-Check?
Washington Post fact-checkers ruled Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s claim of “doctored” Green New Deal FAQ documents floating around as “misleading,” but the outlet curiously did not give her any “Pinocchios.”
“No one created ‘doctored’ versions of the Green New Deal that included these outlandish proposals,” Post fact-checker Salvador Rizzo wrote in an article published Monday.
Rizzo’s article analyzed President Donald Trump’s tweet bashing the Green New Deal and Ocasio-Cortez’s claim that “doctored” versions of the FAQ document accompanying the climate resolution were circulating around the internet.
Ocasio-Cortez released her Green New Deal resolution Thursday, but was quickly ridiculed because the bill’s accompanying FAQ contained anti-nuclear energy language, mentions of getting rid of “farting cows” and airplanes and welfare for people “unwilling to work.” (RELATED: What’s Really Motivating The ‘Green New Deal’? Ocasio-Cortez Straight Up Told Us)
The furor over those gaffes eventually forced Ocasio-Cortez to take the FAQ off her congressional website by Thursday afternoon. Her staff quickly went into damage control mode.
Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, said his office mistakenly published a gaffe-riddled FAQ that didn’t match the Green New Deal’s legislative text. Chakrabarti, however, also claimed a “doctored” FAQ circulating around the internet.
The left-wing group Media Matters also pushed the false claim, and Cornell law professor Robert Hockett, an adviser to Ocasio-Cortez, told Fox News’ host Tucker Carlson Friday that protections for people “unwilling to work” came from a “doctored document.”
“If you look at [Ocasio-Cortez’s] latest tweets, it seems that apparently, some Republicans have put it out there,” Hockett told Carlson.
Hockett later admitted to TheDCNF that he was wrong. The Post’s Rizzo dinged Ocasio-Cortez for claiming a “doctored” FAQ was the source of Green New Deal gaffes.
It is “misleading for Ocasio-Cortez to mention ‘doctored’ materials as she responds to these attacks,” Post fact-checker Salvador Rizzo wrote Monday. “Most of the criticism she is responding to was based on documents from her office, not on fake plans for ‘recycling urine.'”
However, Rizzo did not award any “Pinocchios” to Ocasio-Cortez or Trump. A “Pinocchio” is how The Post rates truthfulness — the more “Pinocchios,” the bigger the fib.
“There’s a case to be made that the criticism about ending airplanes and cows was a stretch to begin with, since the resolution didn’t mention any of that and the FAQs were not definitive on those points,” Rizzo wrote.
“But Ocasio-Cortez has now disowned the FAQs and the statements that went beyond the resolution,” Rizzo added. “The line about providing for people “unwilling to work” has been walked back completely. So we won’t be awarding any Pinocchios in this kerfuffle.”
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