White House Rounds Up Fact-Checkers to Defend Kamala on Hurricane Relief 'Equity'

October 4th, 2022 12:10 PM

On Sunday, our Kevin Tober noticed Sen. Rick Scott faced pushback from CBS Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan when he said Vice President Kamala Harris was arguing that racial "equity" should be applied in disaster relief. It was only a matter of time before the "independent fact checkers" lined up to defend Harris. 

Here in our NewsBusters Twitter notifications came a tweet from deputy White House Twitter troll Andrew Bates, lining up his helpful Democrat-enabling fact-checkers. (We're not adults? Fact check?) 

PolitiFact was the first stop on the Bates list. Here's how tilted PolitiFact is: since the Biden-Harris inauguration, Kamala Harris has only four fact-checks: two Mostly Trues, a Mostly False, and a False. So it's basically 50-50. 

By contrast, Sen. Scott of Florida -- where PolitiFact is based -- drew thirteen fact checks in the same time period. None of them were rated True or Mostly True, one Half True, with four False and eight Mostly False. So it's on the False side 12 of 13 times, or 92 percent.

Scott drew a False from Jeff Cercone with the summary headline: Kamala Harris said about Hurricane Ian that “if you have a different skin color, you're going to get relief faster.” That's not what she said -- in quote marks.

It can be interpreted that "communities of color" should get priority attention for "environmental justice," but it's not what she said. She spoke generally and not specifically. This is what she said: 

“It is our lowest-income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making. So we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity — understanding that we fight for equality but we also need to fight for equity.”

So this is fact-check territory. Our problem here is target selection. Let us repeat: Joe Biden can say the Republicans are "Jim Crow 2.0," and PolitiFact naps. 

The second link was Zach Montague for the New York Times. 

Ms. Harris’s comments drew applause from those in the audience.

But online and in conservative outlets, several commentators quickly moved to paint Ms. Harris’s words as a blueprint for how the Biden administration planned to distribute aid after powerful hurricanes laid waste to parts of Florida and Puerto Rico.

Scores of Twitter users, including Elon Musk, joined the discussion, incorrectly describing Ms. Harris’s remarks as her administration’s federal disaster response strategy.

“Should be according to greatest need, not race or anything else,” Mr. Musk wrote.

Montague pointed out DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw said the framing was false on Hurricane Ian relief: 

The third link was a thread by Reuters reporter Nandita Bose, who explained she was the only White House reporter at this event via the press pool, and laid out what Jonas and Harris said. 

So Bose must have filed a pool report for the other White House reporters...but check this out: she didn't write a story on the Jonas-Harris gab session for Reuters. It was boring, until Republicans pounced?