Highly frequented fact-checking site PolitiFact rated a claim that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said supporters of former President Donald Trump “were not welcome here” as “mostly false,” since her remarks were directed at Cabinet officials, The Washington Examiner reported Tuesday.
“Waters did say that members of Trump’s Cabinet are ‘not welcome anymore, anywhere’ in a June 2018 critique of the administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy,” PolitiFact stated. “But she did not direct her comments at all Trump supporters as this post suggests.”
The fact-checker rated the claim that the congresswoman, a harsh critic of the former president, directed her comments specifically at Trump supporters as “mostly false.”
The fact-check, according to The Washington Examiner, appeared to be the result of a Facebook post that misquoted Waters as saying “every Trump supporting American” is not “welcome here.”
However, the California congresswoman’s actual comments were aimed at members of Trump’s Cabinet.
“If you think we’re rallying now, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” Waters said at a Los Angeles rally on June 23, 2018. “Already, you have members of your Cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants, who are — protesters taking up at their house, who are saying, ‘no peace, no sleep. No peace, no sleep.’”
“And so, let’s stay the course. Let’s make sure we show up, wherever we have to show up,” she continued. “And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out, and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Months later, the congresswoman defended her remarks, saying that while she did not threaten Trump’s supporters in that particular speech, she has threatened them in the past, as The Washington Examiner pointed out.
“I did not threaten [Trump] constituents and supporters. I do that all the time, but I didn’t do that that time,” Waters said in a September 2018 speech to a laughing Los Angeles crowd.
Nonetheless, PolitiFact still rated the Facebook post’s claim as “mostly false,” as The Washington Examiner noted.
“And while Waters did make statements suggesting Trump Cabinet members should be singled out in public, she did not direct her comments at Trump supporters broadly, as this post suggests,” the fact-checker also said.
On top of misquoting Waters about Trump supporters, the Facebook post, according to PolitiFact, also misquoted her as saying: “We must welcome everyone who crosses our borders, whether they are illegal or not.”
However, the fact-checker said that “neither quote is accurate.”
“The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed,” PolitiFact went on to say, providing a link to more information about its partnership with the massive social media site.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village
Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.
But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.
Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19
The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.
Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China
The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”
Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World
The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”
In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.
While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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