Monday, September 8, 2014

US: President Obama May Well Have Underestimated the Media's "Fact-Checking"

According to NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday (September 7), President Barack Obama may very well have underestimated the US media's capacity in the truth-stretching department.

During NBC's interview of President Obama on Sunday, the network's Chuck Todd pressed the President on his dismissing the fact that he was referring to IS militants as the "JV" team.

During the Sunday interview, Chuck Todd pressed the President published in the January 2014 profile in THE NEW YORKER: In the piece, Obama was asked about the IS militants that had just captured Fallujah when he replied, "The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant."

Obama told "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd that he was speaking broadly at the time and not specifically about the IS, that has recently beheaded two American journalists and is threatening even greater brutality.
COMMENT: Politifact, a leading fact-checking organization, subsequently rated Obama's recollection as "false." Politifact even reached out to the author of THE NEW YORKER piece to confirm the specific context of Obama's quote: the capture of Fallujah just days before.
"At the time, IS was not a household name. It was often referred to as an al- Qaeda-linked group in press reports. But reports from the time clearly indicate that the group was responsible for taking over the city," Politifact reported. "We rate the statement False."
In August, a White House spokesman similarly insisted Obama was talking about multiple groups in THE NEW YORKER  interview--not just the Islamic State (IS). At the time, THE WASHINGTON POST's fact-checking service rated the administration's spin with "Four Pinocchios."