News & Politics

WaPo Tried to Fact-Check Trump on Who Runs the Dangerous Cities... and Failed Miserably

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Earlier this week, Democrats blocked the Republican-written police reform bill, the JUSTICE Act. President Trump responded to this disgrace by pointing out the Democrats have a crappy record when it comes to crime. “You hear about certain places like Chicago and you hear about what’s going on in Detroit and other cities, all Democrat-run. Every one of them is Democrat-run,” Trump said. “The 20 worst, the 20 most dangerous are Democrat-run.”

Democrats now risk losing the high ground on police reform, and the media has chosen to step in and play defense for them. Which is exactly what Philip Bump of the Washington Post did. According to Bump, President Trump’s claim is dead wrong. “Trump keeps claiming that the most dangerous cities in America are all run by Democrats. They aren’t,” reads the headline of his fact check.

With a headline like this, certainly, Mr. Bump was going to provide us with statistics or a chart that showed that the most violent cities in America are somewhat more evenly controlled by Democrats and Republicans. If you thought that, you’d be wrong.

In fact, despite the fact check’s headline, here’s what Bump says:

The most recent data to that effect is from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report covering the first half of 2019. The cities with the most violent crimes are many of the most populous cities in the country, as you might expect. Those with the highest rates of violent crime are from a range of different states.

Most of the current mayors of these cities are Democrats. Two of the mayors of cities with the most reported violent crimes overall, though, are independents and one, the mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., is a Republican. Among the 20 cities with the most violent crime per capita, one isn’t a Democrat: the independent mayor of Springfield, Mo.

Bump showed this data graphically in the chart below:

This, according to Bump, totally debunks Trump’s claim, and claims Trump would “no doubt shrug at that detail, decrying as ‘fake news’ the revelation that his assertion was only slightly wrong.”

So, by this standard, because only 17 out of 20 of the most violent cities are run by Democrats, or 19 out of 20 of the most violent cities per capita are run by Democrats, Trump’s oft-repeated claim that the most dangerous cities in the country are run by Democrats is false.

And we’re supposed to believe that the Washington Post isn’t biased? How does someone like Philip Bump still have a job after basically trying to argue that two plus two equals five?

Bump then bloviates about why it doesn’t matter than an overwhelming majority of these violent cities are run by Democrats. “In fairness, it actually doesn’t matter that four of the 32 cities listed above have non-Democratic mayors — because it doesn’t really matter that the other mayors are Democrats.”

Of course, it doesn’t! He just spent several paragraphs claiming to disprove that very point, and yet, he now claims it doesn’t matter. Why? Because it’s only a coincidence that these urban areas are typically run by Democrats… and have been for years.

Is it really that hard for the media to admit when Trump is right? How many bogus fact checks does it take for a so-called journalist to be embarrassed?

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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis