On Sunday’s editions of Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the hosts blasted Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway over President Trump’s claim that his inauguration crowd was the “biggest ever.” But, not surprisingly, the media never responded to President Obama’s clear falsehoods (on issues that matter) – at least six times.
Video evidence suggests that Obama’s first inauguration drew a larger crowd than Trump’s. And we know that more watched his ceremony on television than watched Trump’s. What is not clear, however, is the number who watched the Trump event through smart phones and other devices. So, while Trump’s claim is likely false, it is not a provable lie. That did not stop the mainstream media from going off on Ms. Conway. Throughout the entire interviews, both Chuck Todd and George Stephanopoulos refused to address any other subject – such as Trump’s actual speech, his policies, his Supreme Court nomination, or the cabinet whose confirmation is being stalled by Senate Democrats.
But let’s assume Mr. Trump’s claim of a “record crowd” at his inauguration was a clear misstatement. We’ll even call it a lie. That begs the question: Is the size of a crowd at the President’s speech worthy of more media coverage than his speech itself?
Now, let’s compare this coverage to the media’s coverage of President Obama’s clear misstatements. We will limit our examples to issues that actually affect millions of American lives, not ancillary comments on the size of a crowd.
I offer six examples of clear non-truths and misstatements that went completely unchallenged by Todd, Stephanopoulos, and their comrades.
1. “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.”
This memorable promise by Obama backfired on him in 2013 when the Affordable Care Act went into effect and at least two million Americans started receiving cancellation notices.
2. “Ninety percent of the budget deficit is due to George W. Bush’s policies.”
During the 2012 campaign, Obama repeatedly reminded voters that he became president during a grim economic crisis. But by claiming that only 10 percent of the federal deficit was due to his own policies, he pretended facts don’t exist. The fact is, half the deficit stemmed from the recession and forecasting errors, but a large part of the deficit – 44 percent – was due to Obama’s actions, according to his own economists.
3. “The day after Benghazi happened I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.”
Actually, over a period of two weeks, given three opportunities in interviews, he ducked the question, blaming a video for the attacks.
4. “I didn’t call the Islamic State a ‘JV’ team.”
In 2014, Obama repeated a claim, crafted by the White House communications team, that he was not specifically referring to the Islamic State terror group when he dismissed the militants who had taken over Fallujah as a “JV squad.” But the Fact Checker obtained the previously unreleased transcript of the president’s interview with the New Yorker, and it’s clear that’s who the president was referencing.
5. “By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.”
His own Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, disputed that in 2016, saying the White House did a “disservice” to troops by engaging in “word games.” Clearly, the mission did not end by that announced date.
6. “We have not had a major scandal in my administration.”
Apparently, Mr. Obama (and the media) don’t remember: the Operation Fast and Furious gun walking scandal, the IRS scandal involving IRS workers intentionally targeting Tea Party organizations, and his own Secretary of State Hillary Clinton using a private email server, putting national security at risk.
So, in one corner, we have a false claim (not provably false) that the crowd at the 2017 inauguration was the “biggest ever.”
In the other corner, we have false statements about Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, the national economy, and national security.
Still, the media pounded Ms. Conway Sunday, while completely ignoring real misstatements on real issues that affect real Americans, by President Obama. And they wonder why the media’s national approval rating is 14 percent.