Picking on typos, obvious errors and botched rhetoric is the lowest form of political criticism, but the Get Trump! forces have not been able to resist, given the President’s careless tweeting, 7th grade vocabulary and addiction to hyperbole and hearsay. Now such cheap shots are considered standard fare.
Over the weekend, CNN and others made a lot of fun of Fox News for showing a chryon that stated “TRUMP CUTS AID TO 3 MEXICAN COUNTRIES.” The Fox News talking heads correctly reported the story ( about the President cutting aid to three Central American countries), but the Left’s Fox News-bashers couldn’t help themselves.
Some wrote that the error was typical Fox News ignorance. Adam Serwer, a staff writer for The Atlantic, tweeted that “this is less an error than an expression of Fox News’ underlying sentiment towards most Latinos.” RAICES, a group that provides immigrants with legal services, called it “a new low for Fox News, when we thought they couldn’t go lower.” Journalists even suggested that “Fox & Friends Weekend” needs a more diverse staff.
This is remarkably stupid, for several reasons. Fox News was the only broadcast news source not thoroughly humiliated by the Mueller Report, which all the other networks had been hyping, falsely and unethically, for three years; if you listened to the Fox-bashers and ignored its reporting, you were bombarded by three years of fake news. Moreover, I see errors and typos on news crawls and cryons all the time, on all the networks. Low-level employees make mistakes in real time, and often without review. The “Mexican countries” gaffe was particularly bad, but for anyone to pretend that Fox News is any more prone to such errors than any other network is a biased fool. This is an easy Golden Rule situation, but then, I wonder how many journalists understand the ethical principle of reciprocity.
Ah, but that’s not all! Incredibly, the gaffe-prone, goof-happy, fake-facts but incredibly arrogant anyway Democratic Party star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez couldn’t resist taking her own cheap shot at Fox. “Just a reminder that these are the same folks who assert their superiority by belittling the intelligence and good faith of others,” tweeted the callow House member who is constantly belittling the intelligence and good faith of anyone who hasn’t swallowed her infantile world view whole.
This is risky for someone like Ocasio-Cortez, because, much like President Trump, she makes up facts as she goes along. And almost immediately, she made this one up:
“They had to amend the Constitution of the United States to make sure Roosevelt did not get reelected,” Ocasio-Cortez told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.
Uhhh, NO. FDR made sure he wouldn’t get re-elected himself by dying in 1945; the 22nd Amendment limiting Presidents to two terms was passed in 1947. [ And, reader Glenn Logan correctly points out, not ratified until 1955.]
AOC’s gaffe is infinitely more troubling than the Fox News mistake. She’s an elected member of Congress: she’s supposed to to know her nation’s history, or if she doesn’t, at least not make people who trust her more ignorant than they already are. A relatively well educated 5th grader (if there are such things) could tell that “three Mexican countries” was a mistake, but how many Americans, especially Americans gullible enough to take Ocasio-Cortez seriously, know about the time-line of the 22nd Amendment?
Finally, while the Fox News reporters reported the story accurately, both calling attention to the mistake and correcting it by doing so, Chris Hayes didn’t have the guts, integrity, professionalism or historical knowledge—take your pick—to tell AOC that she was, once again, full of it.