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Fact-Checking Trump Fables, Ignoring Hurricane Relief, and the Worst of Twitter Might Quit

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Townhall Media

"Riffed from the Headlines" is Townhall's daily VIP feature with coverage of the deeply flawed aspects of journalism in the nation. We'll look to bring accountability to the mishaps, malaprops, misdeeds, manipulations, malpractice, and manufactured narratives in mainstream media.


Body Checking the Fact-Checkers – WASHINGTON POST

We have all been conditioned over the years that Donald Trump is predisposed to flights of hyperbole and self-aggrandizement. Apparently, the only person this comes as a surprise to is Philip Bump. Trump gave a recent speech where he claimed that years back as president, someone from a polling firm told him that had George Washington and Abraham Lincoln been raised from the dead to form a super-ticket and oppose his re-election, Trump would beat them by 40 points. 

Now, I am not sure how many people would listen to this space flight of fancy, but I do know of one who did. Bump decided it was needed to perform a point-by-point refutation of this comment, complete with data metrics and bar graphs, for the benefit of correcting anyone who believed this claim.

News Avoidance Syndrome – ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Reporting on the positive accomplishments interferes with the anti-DeSantis narrative.

The need to find ways of criticizing Ron DeSantis over his post-hurricane efforts in Florida gets revealed in a few ways. The first is seeing how the criticisms are constantly changing, meaning the accusations are not sticking. The second is in how the good accomplishments being made are barely covered. 

Fox News's Joe Concha noted how the AP promoted a story about the Pine Island residents being cut off from relief efforts...a full day after the main bridge to the island had been repaired. This was echoed by an NPR piece also looking at those suffering on the island with no mention of the effort to fix the bridge. 

Body Checking the Fact-Checkers – POLITIFACT

  • The map technicality makes this so much better.

As we have said, the press is desperate to hang DeSantis over anything, and the closest they have is that the Lee County, Florida, area was not evacuated sooner, even though most projections had the Tampa area as the likely landfall. When challenged on this by CNN, DeSantis explained that, at the time, Lee County was outside the forecast cone. PolitiFact believes they caught the governor, rating his statement as "Mostly False."

Fact-Checker Yacob Reyes explains that because one barrier island to the north is considered a Lee County area, DeSantis erred in not evacuating earlier. This is as close to controversy as the press has been able to get.

Low Octane Gas Lighting – LOS ANGELES TIMES

Just consider for the past year what the media complex has been selling us as important stories: The January 6 Committee, the War in Ukraine, the repeal of Roe v. Wade, global climate change, and a few other pet projects. We would be made to care, was their seeming message.

The problem for Democrats? The voters do not care so much about those stories, and at least one journalist has started to come around on this, as columnist Nicholas Goldberg has realized what voters are focused on. 

- "No, Americans these days…are underwhelmed by abstract ideas, faraway crises or problems scheduled to materialize sometime in the future. They're focused on the here and now. Pocketbook issues. Quality-of-life issues. Better schools. Safer streets. The cost of living."

He came to this realization by looking at some polls. Those same polls have shown these same issues to be a concern for these same voters for at least a year, but congrats for finally believing them today. I'm sure the Democrats can take that Trump/democracy in peril/trans-rights barge and have it swung around in time for the election – in four weeks.


  • I'm sure there must be a number you can call.

In Georgia, the news of Herschel Walker possibly having had a girlfriend in his past get an abortion is the big campaign news – not Reverend Raphael Warnock pushing to broaden abortion and have it paid for by citizens. But in looking over the landscape, Politico's Natalie Allison notices a problem – the Democrats are not getting the word of this out in proper fashion. 

Anti-Social Media – TWITTER

The news came out that Elon Musk and Twitter have finally brokered things to the point that the sale to him will finally be going forward. Carried with this is the irony that after pushback, the company sued so that Musk would have to buy the company – and now the employees are supposedly upset by this.

The New York Times looked into the matter, and according to Kevin Roose, there could be significant employee flight from the dysfunctional platform.

- "It's worth noting that in his texts with Mr. Musk, Mr. Agrawal claimed that a 'large silent majority' of Twitter employees supported Mr. Musk's vision. But virtually every Twitter employee I've spoken to in the last six months has told me that he or she plans to leave if Mr. Musk takes over."


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