On May 8, President Joe Biden took the very unusual step of submitting to an interviewer who was an actual journalist (not like Howard Stern or Drew Barrymore). It wouldn’t be long before he started mangling his record — and Donald Trump’s.

CNN reporter Erin Burnett began with how Trump’s promises of new jobs in Wisconsin didn’t come true: “Why should people here believe that you will succeed at creating jobs where Trump failed?” Biden bragged: “He’s never succeeded in creating jobs and I have never failed. I have created over 15 million jobs since I have been president.” He did it all by himself! He claimed other than Herbert Hoover, Trump’s “the only other president who lost more jobs than created in his four-year term.”

There’s a massive asterisk — the global COVID-19 pandemic. Trump’s employment record in the first three years of his presidency was strong. The raw number of employed Americans reached new records. In October 2018, it had reached more than 156.6 million. The unemployment rate hit record lows across demographics: for women, blacks, Latinos, Asians and youth.

Obviously, the severe lockdowns during the pandemic — most aggressively pushed by the Democrats and their media allies — drove massive job losses. Non-farm payroll employment in the United States declined by 9.4 million in 2020. So Democrats blame that on Trump, and when the pandemic was over, they took credit for the economy climbing out of that hole.

But that wasn’t Biden’s worst mangle. He claimed to CNN that “no president’s had the run we have had, in terms of creating jobs and bringing down inflation. It was 9% when I came to office, 9%.”

That’s ridiculous! It’s a bald-faced lie. Inflation was 1.4%, again, due to the pandemic. Burnett didn’t check his facts, during or after the interview. She pushed him to acknowledge inflation was bad, but she didn’t suggest he was lying.

Fox News contributor Joe Concha tweeted: “And of course, CNN makes sure its pious fact-checker is nowhere to be found afterward.”

That would be Daniel Dale, who’s almost entirely deployed on TV to “fact-check” Trump. Since Trump’s Manhattan trial began in mid-April, Dale has appeared nine times to “check” him. He has not appeared to check anyone else. On April 18, Jake Tapper said, “He’s handy to have around at times like this.”

Some of these fact checks are “brag checks.” Trump will say he’s ahead in all the polls, when he’s ahead in most polls. But Dale sounds most exasperated when Trump blames Biden for his legal troubles. On April 18, Dale decried “his false conspiracy theory that essentially that Joe Biden is behind this case, which was brought by a locally elected district attorney.”

Dale can’t even disclose DA Alvin Bragg is a Democrat. He acknowledged Trump’s lead prosecutor, Matthew Colangelo, was a Biden Justice Department official, and then joined Bragg’s team. A “conspiracy theory” between Democrat lawyers looks obvious here, and declaring it “false” is a lame spin.

On May 7, Dale threw a penalty flag at Trump for saying Bragg is a “Soros-backed” prosecutor — and Trump didn’t say that in the remarks they’d just aired. Dale turned on the spin machine by saying Soros is “a frequent target of antisemitic conspiracy theories,” and then claimed “at best” the money was indirect: Soros donated to the Color of Change PAC, and then the PAC backed Bragg.

If a conservative DA received big money from a pro-Trump PAC, CNN would call him or her “Trump-backed” without hesitation. CNN deploys Dale not as a “fact-checker” as much as a spin spoiler.

Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


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