AP Fact-Checks Accurate Clinton Comment By Invoking Monica Lewinsky

Blog ››› ››› CHELSEA RUDMAN

UPDATE: The AP defended its fact check in a statement to The Huffington Post. Mike Oreskes, senior managing editor for U.S. news, told The Huffington Post: "The reference was not about that woman, Miss Lewinsky. It was about facts. Clinton challenged the Republicans for their attitude toward facts. We were simply pointing out that as president Clinton had his own challenges in this area."

The Associated Press's fact check of President Bill Clinton's DNC speech strained to find statements to check, and at one point attempted to fact-check one of Clinton's accurate assertions by bringing up Monica Lewinsky.

AP reporters Matt Apuzzo and Tom Raum claimed that Clinton repeatedly "cherry-picked facts or mischaracterized the opposition." Here's one of the "cherry-picked facts" or mischaracterizations that they identified:

CLINTON: "[The Romney] campaign pollster said, `We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.' Now that is true. I couldn't have said it better myself - I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad."

This is a direct, verbatim quote from Romney pollster Neil Newhouse as he spoke at an ABC News panel in Tampa last week.

The AP fails to explain how this claim is a "cherry-picked" fact or a mischaracterization of "the opposition," and instead lays out "THE FACTS" this way:

THE FACTS: Clinton, who famously finger-wagged a denial on national television about his sexual relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky and was subsequently impeached in the House on a perjury charge, has had his own uncomfortable moments over telling the truth. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," Clinton told television viewers. Later, after he was forced to testify to a grand jury, Clinton said his statements were "legally accurate" but also allowed that he "misled people, including even my wife."

That's the entirety of the AP's fact check of that Clinton statement: Clinton accurately quotes a Romney pollster, and AP responds by dredging up the Monica Lewinsky affair.

Network/Outlet
Associated Press
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Bill Clinton
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