Media Speak Truth to Power (SOTU Excepted)
Sample some of the hard-nosed, totally objective and nonpartisan fact-checking of the President’s State of the Union speech last night:
Reality check: Obama certainly has had his share of foreign policy successes over the last year.
Reality check: With his call for more efforts to increase domestic oil and natural gas production, Obama offered a rebuttal to GOP criticism of his energy security policy.
Obama’s statements: True, true, true
Republican rebuttal: false
Obama does not mention that Republicans forced him to accept $2 trillion in budget cuts during the debt-ceiling impasse. And he says “we’ve put in place” new rules on Wall Street, glossing over the fact that it had little Republican support and the GOP candidates have all vowed to repeal the Dodd-Frank law.
We found no outright false factual claims in Obama’s State of the Union address, but we did note some that were arguable, and some promises that may prove unrealistic.
§ He called his Race to the Top initiative “the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation.” That’s debatable. Some independent experts say Bush’s No Child Left Behind program had a greater impact.
§ The president set a goal of generating 80 percent of the nation’s electricity from “clean” sources by 2035. That’s ambitious.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that just about everything the President said was beyond question! But you can still make accurate statements that leave out important considerations — as NPR reminded us in 2007 with its post-Katrina segment, “Bush’s State of the Union Omits State of Louisiana.” True, “The federal government has already allocated more than $100 billion to the Gulf Coast region.” Nevertheless, “Survivors of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding along the Gulf Coast are unhappy that President Bush failed to mention the struggle to rebuild in his State of the Union address Tuesday night….” Boy, what a jerk!