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Tipsheet

WaPo Reporter Forced to Delete Tweet of Phony Coherent Fetterman Quote

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Earlier this week, Townhall referenced a tweet from Washington Post economics reporter Jeff Stein that featured a photo of U.S. Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) along with a "quote" from his questioning of a Silicon Valley Bank executive.

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As Townhall noted in its story, barely any of the words attributed to Fetterman — perhaps only two or three — actually matched what Fetterman said during the Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Here's what Senator Fetterman said, according to Stein's tweeted quote:

"Shouldn’t you have a working requirement after we bail out your bank? Republicans seem to be more preoccupied with SNAP requirements for hungry people than protecting taxpayers that have to bail out these banks."

But here's (our best attempt at) what Fetterman actually said:

"Shouldn't you have a working requirement after we sale your bank- with billions of your bank? Because they seem we were preoccupied when- then SNAP- and requirements for works for hungry people but not about protecting the taxpapers. You know, that will bail no matter whatever does about a bank to crash it."

Clearly, Fetterman's supposed remarks Stein tweeted were an overly generous translation of what Fetterman perhaps had meant to say, but it wasn't any sort of a direct quote. 

After getting called out for carrying water for Fetterman and attempting to make him seem like he's able to piece together coherent sentences, however, Stein had an update in which he tried to pass some of the blame for his misleading quote along to Fetterman's office:

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Ah, so he didn't bother to see whether Fetterman had actually said what his office claimed? 

Our PJ Media colleague Matt Margolis also raised a good point in response to Stein's reasoning:

Was the quote requested from Fetterman's office? Was it just an email blast from the office at Stein chose to pull from? Did Fetterman's office request that Stein share the quote?

Simply parroting press releases or spin from Fetterman's office doesn't make for a journalist, it makes for a public relations flack. Perhaps a little less deference to powerful elected officials — the people journalists are supposed to be holding accountable — and a little healthy skepticism would be good.

What's more, it doesn't seem that the quote from Fetterman's office actually "captured" the "meaning" of Fetterman's line of questioning in committee — and more than "some of the words" in the quote Stein tweeted were inaccurate.

Fetterman didn't say "bail" he said "sail." He didn't say "taxpayers," he said "tax papers." Fetterman was, again, unable to piece together a coherent sentence that witnesses testifying before him and the Senate Banking Committee could understand well enough to answer. 

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