Ocasio-Cortez spent the weekend lying about the ‘Green New Deal’ and the Washington Post is too scared to say so – Washington Examiner

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., spent the weekend lying about the disastrous rollout of her preposterous “Green New Deal.” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker doesn’t dispute that. But it refused to give her any “Pinocchios” anyway because Trump.

No, really.

The paper has declined to flunk the congresswoman’s obvious falsehoods suggesting her House resolution is the target of a right-wing smear campaign, explaining that the president has made similarly misleading statements about the proposed bill.

That one of the newspaper’s fact-checkers would go out of his way to soften what was an clear attempt by Ocasio-Cortez and her team to lie and mislead is bad enough. It’s made worse by the fact that the author of the Post article is also one of the reporters who awarded the president two “Pinocchios” last week when he said “ one in three [female migrants] is sexually assaulted on the long journey north” because, actually, “31.4 percent of women said they were ‘sexually abused’ on the journey, not ‘sexually assaulted’ as Trump says.”

Ocasio-Cortez last week unveiled her much-anticipated “Green New Deal” proposal, which aims to remake the U.S. economy into a kinder and more environmentally friendly version of its current self. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the House resolution is absurd, especially the part where it calls for upgrading or replacing every single building in the country over a 10-year period “to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification.”

Adding an additional layer of unintentional humor to this unintentional comedy is the fact that the congresswoman’s staff circulated bizarre “ frequently asked questions” pages last week, one of which appeared on her webpage. The FAQs contained additional ideas and proposals not found in the actual legislation co-sponsored by more than 100 Democratic lawmakers.

One FAQ made available to NPR claimed the bill’s aim is to lower fossil fuel emissions to “net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.” The NPR FAQ as well as the FAQ that appeared on Ocasio-Cortez’s webpage boasted that the bill would provide “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”

Perhaps realizing that they were making their position more difficult to defend, or take seriously, Ocasio-Cortez’s staff wisely pulled the FAQ from her webpage.

This is where the congresswoman and her team made a concerted effort to mislead the public.

“When your #GreenNewDeal legislation is so strong that the GOP has to resort to circulating false versions, but the real one nets 70 House cosponsors on Day 1 and all Dem presidential candidates sign on anyway,” the congresswoman complained on last Friday.

Her tweet, which kicked off the narrative suggesting the ridiculous parts of her House resolution and FAQ pages were not, in fact, from her office, didn’t cite any GOP lawmaker or staffer. Rather, it cited only an obvious joke being shared by social media trolls “showing” the “Green New Deal” mandates that all men must urinate into empty milk jugs.

Later that same say, Ocasio-Cortez advisor and Cornell University Law School Professor Robert Hockett was asked during a Fox News interview to explain the “unwilling to work” line. He responded by denying the authenticity of the FAQ page, saying, “I think you’re referring to some sort of document. … That’s erroneous. It’s the wrong document. That’s not us.”

On Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff admitted the FAQs were authentic but continued pushing the line that her office had fallen victim to a concerted misinformation campaign. Hockett also said Saturday that the FAQs were indeed legitimate, saying, “It appears there was more than one document being discussed yesterday, only one of which I had heard about with any definiteness by last evening after a long day of media appearances — namely, the one referred to by the Congresswoman in her tweet.” But the congresswoman herself kept at it this weekend, suggesting legitimate criticism for her ridiculous House resolution is suspect because of a shadowy GOP-led campaign to delegitimize her proposal.

“There are multiple doctored GND resolutions and FAQs floating around. There was also a draft version that got uploaded + taken down. There’s also draft versions floating out there,” she tweeted.

The official response from Ocasio-Cortez and her team went from denying they wrote what they wrote and claiming to be victims of a vicious right-wing smear, to admitting they wrote what they wrote, while still maintaining they are the victims of a vicious right-wing smear. And all of this because the congresswoman and her team panicked after scrutiny was applied to language they included in documents they shared with the public. It would have been fine if the FAQs were circulated by mistake. It would’ve been written off as a gaffe and quickly forgotten. The problem here is the congresswoman is clearly trying to mislead the public about what really happened, pushing some cock-and-bull story about the GOP circulating doctored version of the “Green New Deal.”

This is where you think fact-checkers would come in handy. But no. The Washington Post published a fact-check whose “bottom line” read:

Trump is misrepresenting the Green New Deal as the plan is currently written. The resolution in Congress is full of sweeping ambition and grand goals, but it’s also vaguer and more moderate than he says. There’s nothing in there about putting an end to cars or cows or air travel or the military.

It’s also misleading for Ocasio-Cortez to mention “doctored” materials as she responds to these attacks. Most of the criticism she is responding to was
based on documents from her office, not on fake plans for “recycling urine.”

There’s a case to be made that the criticism about ending airplanes and cows was a stretch to begin with, since the resolution didn’t mention any of that and the FAQs were not definitive on those points. But Ocasio-Cortez has now disowned the FAQs and the statements that went beyond the resolution. The line about providing for people “unwilling to work” has been walked back completely. So we won’t be awarding any Pinocchios in this kerfuffle.

It’s amazing how quickly a fact-checking operation can go from awarding “bottomless Pinocchios” to waxing poetic on the nature of “truth” depending on the party affiliation of the person it’s covering. It’s even more amazing that the newspaper that ran a $10 million Super Bowl ad this year praising journalists for covering the D-Day invasion couldn’t bring itself to say a 29-year-old Democratic congresswoman lied.


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