Notwithstanding the media’s supposed zeal for “fact checking,” they seem to have a blind spot for certain distortions coming from certain candidates.
Here’s a whopper that managed to escaped the media’s attention. When discussing Arizona’s immigration law (SB 1070), Obama said: “Part of the Arizona law said that law enforcement officers could stop folks because they suspected maybe they looked like they might be undocumented workers and check their papers.” In fact, the law allows police officers to request papers only upon “reasonable suspicion” — a well-established standard — and specifically states that police may not consider “race, color, or national origin” in forming a reasonable suspicion. At oral argument before the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli: “No part of your argument has to do with racial or ethnic profiling, does it?” And Verrilli replied “that’s correct, Mr. Chief Justice.”
Nor has the media mentioned that the famous Lily Ledbetter Act has done nothing to boost women’s pay (although it has enriched the plaintiffs’ bar).
But perhaps the strangest assertion from the president was this: “You know a major difference in this campaign is that Governor Romney feels comfortable having politicians in Washington decide the health care choices that women are making.” That is, of course, an odd assertion from somebody who believes that the 15 members of the Independent Payment Advisory Board should be empowered to “decide the health care choices” for an entire nation, men and women. But then, by way of explanation, Obama stated that Romney would allow employers to decide what sort of health coverage to provide their employees — even giving employers the freedom to choose health plans that don’t cover contraception.
Apparently, Romney’s refusal to impose a national contraception mandate on employers puts power in the hands of “politicians.” Obama never attempted to back up his preposterous claim about “health care choices” — and you can bet that the media will never challenge him.