Saturday, January 21, 2017

Fact-checking "American carnage"

Following are quotes from Trump’s inaugural address from the NY Times’ Donald Trump’s Inaugural Speech, Annotated. The quotes in italics are annotations from the Times’ reporters.

Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families and good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public, but for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists:

Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

I was going to lay a spoof on “American carnage” just based on the headlines yesterday. (Did Trump misread “American courage” on the teleprompter?) But then I did some more reading and fact-checking.

The claim about crime merits some Pinocchios.

This echoes his convention speech, and it paints a bleak picture of America’s streets. Violent crime increased about 4 percent in 2015, but that is a small blip in a decades-long decline in crime. The United States remains far safer than it has been in generations.

But the economic message is sound.

Corporate profits have reached record heights in recent years. The biggest American companies have benefited enormously from globalization. It’s the workers who have suffered.

So that part of the speech is a mixed bag. The reminder for your Scriber is fact-check first, write second.

No comments:

Post a Comment