Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ruth Marcus commits an act of journalism!

I hate to give Ruth Marcus credit for anything journalistic. But this one actually caught my attention. It's from the PBS Newshour Friday Political Wrap for yesterday, Brooks and Marcus on Trump quitting Iran deal, Gina Haspel grilling.

David "Bobo" Brooks was the the conservative side of the discussion. It was more of a train wreck than usual. Bobo was promoting his new Trump defense that Trump's a thug but we actually need a thug as President. Expect to see the same kind of shifting position from other Never Trumpers as the midterm elections get closer.

This segment included one of the stock, lazy "talking to reglur voters" segments the press loves so much. They talked to some reglur folks in Elkhart, Indiana, including this from Trump fan Jack Cittadine:
We have gone from a 20 percent unemployment rate to a 2 percent unemployment rate. It’s one of the best in the country.

The stock market has done very well. And I think Donald Trump can take some credit for both of those, although perhaps the groundwork was laid earlier, under President Obama.

On the negative side — and I have to say I’m a fierce independent, but on the negative side, I am both embarrassed and ashamed of Donald Trump. I think our standing with the rest of the world, particularly the world leaders, has been diminished. We have a president that we’re talking about who lies frequently.
Bobo, the new MaybeNotQuiteNeverTrumper, was impressed: "And so it is true. If unemployment in Elkhart has gone down from 22, kind of astounding, and downtowns all around the country and town around the country are reviving."

But Marcus did something unusual in these sort of listening'-to-the-reglur-folks stories. She did some basic fact-checking!
... Elkhart is, by the way, the kind of poster child for the resurgence of the manufacturing economy, because they build a lot of recreational vehicles there.

But, at its worst, indeed, the unemployment rate in Elkhart was 20 percent. But guess what it was when Donald Trump took office? It was 3.2 percent. Now it’s 2.2 percent. If you’re going to give credit to a president, the bulk of the credit goes to a different president than Donald Trump.
What? The Real American who gushed about Trump was just pulling stuff out of his rear end?

Amazing what a little elementary fact-checking can clarify!

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