US intelligence claims about a Russian troop buildup on the Ukrainian border are just that–claims. On NBC Nightly News, however, anchor Brian Williams and Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski not only took these claims as gospel, they used them as the jumping off point for alarmist speculation.
Why does AP still let Calvin Woodward "factcheck" political speeches? Does no one at the news service know what actual factchecking looks like? (If you're coming in late, see FAIR Blog, 10/30/08, 2/25/09, 4/30/09, 1/28/10, 8/31/12.) Woodward's latest venture (1/29/14) into the factcheck genre, following President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech, produced yet more illustrations of what not to do when gauging the accuracy of political speech. Take this item: OBAMA: "We'll need Congress to protect more than 3 million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer. But I will act on my own to slash […]
It's hard to remember a better time for politicians to talk about the issue of income inequality. But according to the Associated Press (1/24/14), Barack Obama's State of the Union address will attempt to shift away that issue–too divisive, apparently–and opt instead for some discussion of economic opportunity. As Jim Kuhnhenn writes: The adjustment reflects an awareness that Obama's earlier language put him at risk of being perceived as divisive and exposed him to criticism that his rhetoric was exploiting the gap between haves and have-nots. He also noted: Obama's December speech was well received by Democrats and liberals, but […]