NYT's 'Fact Check' Instead Uncovers 'Startling Truth' From Bill Clinton Against Romney
A week after the comprehensively nitpicking and partisan "fact-checking" of Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney during the Republican National Convention, the New York Times didn't ignore Democratic misstatements made from the podium Wednesday night under the odd headline: "A Startling Truth Amid the Hyperbole," by Michael Cooper, Scott Shane, and Annie Lowery. The original online headline was sharper: "Democrats Stretch the Truth in Talk and Text."
But the paper made an exception for the rambling speech by Bill Clinton, who the Times actually credited with truth-telling in the headline and the text. (The paper's criticism-free front-page story on Clinton's "stirring plea" nominating Obama characterized it as "poignant evening" for the president.)
Speakers at the Democratic National Convention used an out-of-context quote on Wednesday night to give the misleading impression that Mitt Romney enjoys firing people, and some referred imprecisely to his tax proposals. The party’s platform also contained questionable assertions about President Obama’s record on civil liberties.
One of the most surprising statistics of the night came from former President Bill Clinton. Since 1961, he said, 24 million private-sector jobs were added during the 28 years that Republicans held the White House. But when Democrats were president, that figure almost doubled -- 42 million private-sector jobs created over 24 years. That claim appears to be true; it is backed up by a recent Bloomberg News analysis and federal labor statistics.
The Associated Press certainly found enough wrong with Clinton's 50-minute speech to write about, and questioned the impeached former president's ethical authority to boot:
But when former President Bill Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, he portrayed President Barack Obama as a pragmatic compromiser who has been stymied at every turn by Republicans. There was no mention of the role that the president and the Democrats have played in grinding compromise to a halt on some of the most important issues facing the country....Clinton, who famously finger-wagged a denial on national television about his sexual relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky and was subsequently impeached in the House on a perjury charge, has had his own uncomfortable moments over telling the truth.
The Times did zero in on misstatements by other Democrats, defending Mitt Romney’s tax plan from Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and noting that some speakers "used an out-of-context quote on Wednesday night to give the misleading impression that Mr. Romney enjoys firing people."