As I’ve noted before, so-called “fact-checkers” have done about as much damage to their own profession as national media journalists have in recent years, and among the best examples of that is the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler.
My RedState colleagues and I have documented numerous instances of Kessler making a complete fool of himself, like that time he published an error-filled fact check on Dr. Fauci last year, that time where he misattributed a Bill Gates quote to President Trump, and the time he had to walk back a highly misleading tweet of a Fox News segment on the origins of the Wuhan virus.
But while Kessler neither did himself nor his profession any favors during the Trump years, he might have outdone himself this week with a “fact check” of sorts he did on … Sen. Tim Scott’s story of how his family “went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime.”
Scott told the story during the Republican National Convention last summer. Here’s a partial transcript, via Real Clear Politics:
“My grandfather’s 99th birthday would have been tomorrow,” Scott said. “Growing up, he had to cross the street if a white person was coming. He suffered the indignity of being forced out of school as a third grader to pick cotton, and never learned to read or write.”
“Yet, he lived to see his grandson become the first African American to be elected to both the United States House and Senate,” Scott continued. “Our family went from Cotton to Congress in one lifetime. And that’s why I believe the next American century can be better than the last.”
It was a moving, uplifting story of a black man from the South growing up to live the American dream and represent his state in the House and Senate, after everything his family experienced in the Jim Crow south.
But the story has surfaced again this week thanks to Kessler, who has tweeted out the link to the “analysis” twice, despite all the pushback he received over it. The piece was inarguably one of the most cringeworthy things I’ve ever seen written in my lifetime:
Sen. Tim Scott says he went from “Cotton to Congress in one lifetime,” but his ancestors owned unusually large amounts of land. Fact Checker investigates. https://t.co/HlLTppVTgM
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) April 23, 2021
I mean, just … wow. Imagine being the guy who thought it would be cool to go down this road.
Here’s just a small sampling of the much-deserved criticisms he received over it:
Glenn Kessler trying to Whitesplain that, Actually, Tim Scott’s Ancestors Had It Pretty Good is one of the most profoundly stupid things on this website today https://t.co/EJtQMzuEik
— Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson) April 23, 2021
A white man telling a black man his ancestors weren’t ***actually*** that poor or oppressed
If this story were about a Democrat, half the Washington Post editorial board would have been forced to resign by now. https://t.co/cX3p2dvh6m
— Cabot Phillips (@cabot_phillips) April 23, 2021
Actually, Tim Scott’s grandfather left school to pick cotton, but it was for a family farm that was larger than most, making the back-breaking work much easier than, say, using white privilege to sit at a keyboard and attack a black man and his family for daring to have success. https://t.co/LwYPcIlYP8
— Razor (@hale_razor) April 23, 2021
Oh man. Is this the first in a series: “How legitimate is your blackness?” https://t.co/jTIwC5pcDw
— Tim Carney (@TPCarney) April 23, 2021
Yes, please tell the black man more about how he should perceive his history……. pic.twitter.com/aJoPFfhW8s
— Polybius Champion🐂💨 (@PolybiusChamp) April 23, 2021
I’m not a fan of Scott however the idea a white progressive digging up dirt to destroy a black republican is par for the course. It’s a Democrat tradition going back to the Andrew jackson administration. Telling a black man to pipe down is the most Democratic Party thing to do https://t.co/t6jr0VLeNK
— Jim impending doom Eagle (@RyanHunsader) April 23, 2021
Remember: Republicans raising legitimate questions about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s claims of a Native American heritage were racist and sexist, and asking questions about whether or not then-Sen. Kamala Harris’ ancestors were slave owners was also considered racist and sexist. But media “fact-checkers” digging into Tim Scott’s story about how his family survived during the Jim Crow era apparently is totally okay.
If Kessler or anyone else at the Washington Post had even a tiny shred of shame they’d pull the piece just out of sheer decency and admit they screwed up. But they won’t, because Sen. Scott’s been picked to respond to President Biden’s joint address to Congress next week. And because he’s a black man who does not toe the liberal line, and has the potential to appeal to a broad audience, he must be torn down by the Usual Suspects.
It’s disgusting, but it’s who these people are.