We\’ve all heard the saying “that\’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”, to describe someone paying too much attention to a trivial issue while avoiding the bigger one.
Well, we have a classic example today from the Washington Post: the “fact check” by Michelle Ye Hee Lee (no I am not making that name up), to see if former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was correct in saying that al sharpton was a guest 80 – 85 times in the Obama White House.
sharpton, as I hope you know, is a race hustling, anti-Semitic, Black supremacist, serial deadbeat/tax cheat, who has about as much business being invited to the White House – even once – as david duke does to the next Anti-Defamation League convention.
But Ms. Lee and the Washington Post, evidently, are less concerned with the impropriety of sharpton ever being there as they are with the exact number mentioned by Mr. Giuliani.
Could this “fact-check” possibly be more vacuous? I don\’t know how. But there it is anyway. A “key” excerpt:
Giulianisaid he took the high end of figures reported in Fox News, whichranged from 60 to 85 visits. The outlets reporting Sharpton\’svisits used the White House visitors\’logs, so we looked at those figures. At first glance, thereare 82 visits logged for Al Sharpton, Alfred Sharpton or Alfred C.Sharpton – all variations of Sharpton\’s name.
Ofthe 82 visits logged for Sharpton, there were 10 entries thateither appear to be duplicates, or are canceled appointments. Weidentified duplicates using the appointment start time; presumably,there was one Al Sharpton in a meeting starting at the exact samehour and time, in the same location, for the same purpose. Thedatabase even logged meetings that are canceled. That means therewere at least 72 instances since Obama took office where Sharptonvisited the White House for official business.
And it goes on from there.
Assuming you have an IQ above 37, I expect that you are now thinking something along the lines of “What difference does it make whether the actual number was 82 or 72 – or, for that matter, 62 or 52 or 42 or 12? Why in hell is this lowlife EVER in the White House?” And how would the difference between 82 and 72 visits bear on the point Rudy Giuliani was making, that the race-baiting, police-hating sharpton is a frequent visitor to the White House, which is seen in negative terms by police officers, both in New York and around the country?
Incredibly, however, the Washington Post, and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, make it clear that they are far more interested in determining the exact number of visits than any of that other trivial stuff.
There are many reasons that journalists, once trusted by a great many people in this country, are now among the least credible groups of them all – as low as just 6% seeing them as “very trustworthy” in a poll taken just last year.
Maybe, just maybe, this affords us a glimpse into why.