Hell Freezes Over: The New York Times Fact Checks Biden on the Economy, Rates His Claim as ‘False’

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

AP PHOTO/Bebeto Matthews

 

I don’t have any contacts in hell to tell me whether or not the temperature has dropped, but I did look out of my window to see if I could spot any flying pigs. It’s a natural reaction when you see The New York Times actually do an honest fact check of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. It’s even more alarming when they go so far as to label one of his claims “false.” 

And yet, that’s precisely what the Grey Lady did today, folks. In their post-debate fact-checking piece, they did the typical line of attack and picked out Trump’s inaccuracies while giving Biden the soft glove treatment. But on the former Vice President’s claim about the economy, The New York Times didn’t let him get away with lying, as they did with the rest of the debate. 

During the dumpster fire in the middle of a three-ring circus that occurred in Ohio last night, Biden responded to questions on Obama’s economy by saying, “We left [Trump] a booming economy. And he (Trump) caused the recession.” The Times easily debunked the candidate’s claim, pointing out that “The economy was not ‘booming’ in the final year of Mr. Biden’s time as Vice President, and Mr. Trump did not “cause” the pandemic recession.”

The author rightly noted that when Obama and Biden left office, “the economy was healthy, though growth had dipped below 2 percent in 2016 in part because of a contraction in business investment stemming in part from a plunge in oil prices rippling through America’s energy industry.” 

Then, as if to further shock the audience, the author explained that economic growth grew faster under President Trump. 

From The Times:

“Under Mr. Trump, economic growth accelerated from 2016, spurred by the fiscal stimulus of tax cuts and increased government spending and continued monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The first three years of Mr. Trump’s presidency were similar, in terms of economic and job growth, to the first three years of Mr. Obama’s second term.”

Even crazier, the Times actually defended Trump against Biden’s claims that the President’s actions caused the economic downturn, noting that it was the COVID-19 outbreak that was the origin of the recession. “Mr. Biden and others have criticized Mr. Trump’s response to it, blaming him for deaths from the virus and a contraction in economic activity,” the author wrote. “But there is no evidence Mr. Trump’s actions caused the recession: every major wealthy country in the world has experienced a sharp economic contraction along with its outbreak of the virus.”

Of course, the Times is correct in pointing out Biden’s lie. Even a cursory glance at the economic shifts between the two presidents will show that the former Vice President was deceptive in his claim. It’s not the only lie he told during that debate. But, predictably, it is the only one the Times decided was worthy of repudiation. 

The rest of the article’s “fact-checking” centered on Trump while letting Biden off the hook. If I didn’t know any better, I might be tempted to think that they only rated that particular claim as “false” so they could pretend they are objective. But they wouldn’t do that, would they? 

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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