The newspaper ran a long piece digging into Donald Trump’s remarks in which the president noted a correlation between party affiliation of mayors and city “danger” levels, claiming that the entire Top-20 are run by the Democrats.
“Every one of them is Democrat run. Twenty out of 20. The 20 worst, the 20 most dangerous are Democrat run,” Trump said on Thursday. Admitting it was not entirely clear what exactly Trump meant by the “most dangerous,” the newspaper turned to FBI statistics on violent crime, trying to challenge his claim.
And indeed, according to the charts, ‘only’ 17 out of 20 cities with the highest number of crimes are run by Democrats – while one is actually administered by a Republican! In per capita terms, Trump’s remark turned out to be even more accurate (or less inaccurate?), with only one out of twenty cities being run by an independent mayor.
While the figures have somewhat defeated the very purpose of the exposé, the Washington Post still pushed through with its narrative explaining why the Dem mayors are not to blame. Hidden behind the paywall, the article explained that urban areas are universally known to have higher crime rates, while at the same time, the population of the US cities also has shown a strong pro-Democrat sentiment, thus the amount of Democratic community leaders cannot be surprising.
While the headline of the article is ‘technically’ accurate, it did not stop a wave of online mockery that followed. Many took jabs at both the newspaper and the author of the piece for spectacularly failing at proving their own point.
Still, some jokingly commended the WaPo’s effort in delivering yet another anti-Trump piece no matter what.
Fact-checking and nitpicking Trump’s statements has long been one of the favorite hobbies of mainstream pundits. However, while looking into what a politician actually has to say is definitely worthwhile, most Trump ‘fact-checkers’ are seemingly driven by a burning desire to debunk his every statement.
Such an approach routinely yields embarrassing and borderline absurd results, as the eagle-eyed critics often waste time on ‘debunking’ obvious jokes. Last week, Twitter flagged a Trump-posted meme video about ‘racist toddler’, that featured a mock CNN chyron, as a piece of “manipulated media,” causing lots of amusement for the online crowd.
More serious fact-checking frequently yields embarrassing results as well. This Monday, The New York Times ‘caught’ the President saying that the “murder rate in Baltimore and Detroit is higher than El Salvador, Guatemala or even Afghanistan.” The fact checkers discovered that El Salvador actually has higher crime rates – only proving his point on rampant crime in some of US cities.
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