After last night's ten minute waste of time masquerading as an Oval Office address, news sites put out fact check after fact check. Considering that Trump delivered his usual stump speech filled with the usual lies, this wasn't that hard to do. And yet, the Associated Press managed to blow it in spectacular fashion:
On the one hand, the entire article is actually very accurate in calling out Trump's lies in a fair amount of detail. On the other, this part of the article is literally three lines that do not fit the tone of the rest of the piece and one is forced to wonder if it was inserted afterwards or if it's there simply to be used on social media for trolling purposes.
Here's the section that comes before the "both sides" bit:
TRUMP: “Democrats will not fund border security.”
THE FACTS: That’s not true. They just won’t fund it the way he wants. They have refused his demand for $5.7 billion to build part of a steel wall across the U.S.-Mexico border
Democrats passed legislation the day they took control of the House that offered $1.3 billion for border security, including physical barriers and technology along the U.S. southern border.
Senate Democrats have approved similar funding year after year.
Democrats have also supported broader fence-building as part of deals that also had a path to legal status for millions of immigrants living in the country illegally.
There's three more detailed paragraphs explaining how Democrats have tried to pay for more border security over the last 13 years and Republicans, including Trump, keep blocking it.
And then there's this:
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: “The fact is: President Trump has chosen to hold hostage critical services for the health, safety and well-being of the American people and withhold the paychecks of 800,000 innocent workers across the nation - many of them veterans.” — response to Trump’s remarks.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, Senate Democratic leader: “The president of the United States - having failed to get Mexico to pay for his ineffective, unnecessary border wall, and unable to convince the Congress or the American people to foot the bill - has shut down the government.” — response to Trump.
THE FACTS: That’s one way to look at it. But it takes two sides to shut down the government. Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for his border wall is one reason for the budget impasse. The refusal of Democrats to approve the money is another.
Erased from this is the part where the Democrats and Republicans had a deal to keep the government open which Trump refused to sign at the last minute because Fox News told him not to. It also forgets to mention that this happened while Republicans still controlled both chambers of Congress.
The only reason for the shutdown is Trump. Blaming "both sides" is like blaming a rape victim for not willingly having sex. "If only you had consented, you wouldn't be in this situation. It takes two sides to tango, after all." But even when it's clear that Trump is the source of everything that's wrong in this situation, just laying it all at his feet is really hard for the "neutral" press to do because somehow it makes them biased. That's what 40 years of working the refs got the right wing. A knee jerk "both sides" response for the press no matter how ludicrous it sounds.
It's also important to note that out of the entire fairly lengthy article, the only lines used for the tweet where the ones that spread the blame to the Democrats. Weird how those just happened to be the most tweetable lines.
Fortunately, AP's little ploy has not gone unnoticed and it's been getting dragged nonstop:
It's funny to watch AP get trolled but it's not funny that it had to happen. The AP is a major news outlet and allegedly unbiased but if it has to maintain the illusion of being nonpartisan bias by trafficking in false equivalence, all they're doing is enabling Republicans to act in bad faith. And that's how we got Donald Trump in the first place. Enough.
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