OPINION: The Washington Post Stopped Its Fact-Checking Operation For Ocasio-Cortez
The Washington Post’s fact-check of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s signature Green New Deal legislation needs a fact-check of its own.
The roll-out of the plan to deindustrialize the U.S. within a 10-year timeframe was a complete disaster. It began with the release of a FAQ sheet riddled with typos, grammatical errors, and radical statements about banning fossil fuels and nuclear power, making car and air travel obsolete, and getting rid of flatulent cows.
The plan would require upgrading or replacing every building in the country, and provide taxpayer-funded economic security for those “unwilling to work.” It promises all Americans will have “access to nature,” whatever that means.
The plan strives to achieve “net-zero” carbon emissions in ten years. Why not zero? According to the FAQ sheet, because they “aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez immediately tried to downplay the FAQ sheet after facing merciless ridicule on social media. She tweeted a Post reporter to insist the version of the FAQ sheet under fire was “doctored.” This, despite the FAQ sheet in question being distributed to reporters and published for the world to see on her own congressional website. Not surprisingly, it was eventually taken down.
The contradictions and cover-ups didn’t stop there. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez admitted the Green New Deal legislation would be a “massive government takeover” during an NPR interview, then denied it would be a massive government program during an MSNBC interview later that same day.
It seemed like an odd thing to lie about, considering the FAQ sheet released by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s office called the resolution a “massive transformation of our society” at the top of the sheet. But it was one of many lies, nonetheless.
The Washington Post acknowledged these lies in its fact-check but failed to award Rep. Ocasio Cortez with any of its signature Pinocchio’s.
In other words, The Washington Post believes her statements are false, and were used with the purpose of intentionally misleading the public. But they aren’t lies.
According to The Post, it was “misleading for Ocasio-Cortez to mention “doctored” materials as she responds to these attacks … But Ocasio-Cortez has now disowned the FAQs and the statements that went beyond the resolution. 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.”
In other words, when an elected official posts a policy document on her congressional website, gets cold feet, removes the document, and accuses critics of sabotage for wanting to discuss the document’s existence in the first place, that is completely fine — so long as that elected official is a Democrat.
Make no mistake, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was not confused. She was covering up a public relations disaster. Thanks to this article, The Post just made itself complicit in the cover-up. It wasn’t a “fact-check,” it was a free pass.
It’s the kind of professional courtesy granted only to people who share The Post’s political ideology. Can you imagine the microscope any Republican congressional office would be under if it published such a comically unprofessional document on its official website? Not only would a GOP-written document be critiqued word-for-word, but the mainstream media would speculate ad nauseum on the unwritten and unspoken political motivations of the authors.
The Post may turn a blind eye to the FAQ sheet, but the rest of us can’t un-see it.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s office can put whatever Orwellian spin they want on the intentions and implications of the Green New Deal resolution, but that FAQ sheet gave Americans a brief glimpse into the hearts and minds of the modern Democratic Party.
By their own admission, they want to radically transform our society and economy. They want to give the federal government total control over nearly every aspect of our lives. They want to advance policies that weaken the power grid, raise the price of energy, and increase the cost of goods and services. In their own words, they want to create an all-encompassing welfare state.
In that sense, it might be the most honest document a Democrat has ever written.
Noah Wall is vice president of advocacy at FreedomWorks, a nationwide grassroots organization dedicated to lower taxes, smaller government, individual liberty and the American rule of law.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.