There are so many strange things going on these days in Washington politics it’s truly hard to keep up with them — including efforts by some mainstream media outlets to regain a modicum of credibility after lying about President Donald Trump for four-plus years.
One of those outlets, incredibly, is the Washington Post.
First, a little history.
You may recall that for most of last year, various and sundry Democrats supported calls by Marxist revolutionaries to “defund” police departments following the death of George Floyd. Getting rid of all cops, you see, would make Americans ‘safer,’ though no one advocating for this lunacy would ever deign to explain who would stand in the way of maniacs engaging in recurring episodes of “The Purge.”
Nevertheless, it was an attractive bandwagon, politically speaking, for Democrats, so they hopped on.
Now, however, after pre-2022 midterms focus group polling revealed that perpetual anarchy and death in American streets is incredibly unpopular with most voters, right and left, Democrats attempted to not simply walk back their previous support for ditching police but added this clever little twist: ‘Actually, it was Republicans who sought to defund cops.’
Yup. You see, the Democratic version of this story goes, Republicans universally rejected Joe Biden’s massively expensive COVID-19 relief bill (which contained $350 billion for cities and states and that money, of course, was going strictly to keep police departments funded after Democratic mayors and governors sacked their economies and lost tens of billions in tax revenue).
Last month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed of the package, “That was voted into law by Democrats just a couple of months ago. Some might say that the other party was for defunding the police; I’ll let others say that, but that’s a piece.”
Biden adviser Cedric Richmond also insisted directly that Republicans voted to defund police.
“Let’s talk about who defunded the police. When we were in Congress last year trying to pass … an emergency relief plan for cities that were cash-strapped and laying off police and firefighters, it was the Republicans who objected to it,” he said in a Fox News interview.
Normally, most U.S. media outlets would have let Democrats get away with that blatant lie. But for reasons known only to its editors, the Washington Post couldn’t let that whopper pass through without pushback.
In a Wednesday morning fact check, The Washington Post calls the White House’s claim “slipshod” and points out that “although Republicans all opposed Biden’s coronavirus relief package, no one voted to cut, or defund, anything. Rather, Democrats proposed $350 billion in emergency funds for state and local governments, and Republicans voted against those extra funds. That’s not a reduction,” the WaPo piece explains.
The White House stretched again to try and justify their claim when WaPo reached out with questions about the claim saying “Republicans were ‘effectively’ trying to defund the police by withholding support for the coronavirus relief package.”
The Post didn’t buy this explanation either, noting that “voting against a one-time infusion of cash is not the same as voting to cut funding, so there is little basis to claim that Republicans are trying to ‘defund the police.'”
“There’s not even a line item to attach to the White House’s claim that Republicans are trying to defund the police,” WaPo also explains.
In the end, WaPo gave the claim Three Pinocchios (it should have been four, but three’s better than nothing).
Will wonders never cease.