NY Times fact-check of Clinton ad left out the facts

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

In an August 14 "Ad Campaign" analysis of the first television commercial produced by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) presidential campaign, New York Times reporter Patrick Healy asserted in a section titled "Accuracy" that President Bush "would certainly disagree with Mrs. Clinton's accusation that he does not pay attention to single mothers, veterans or people who lack health care." Healy continued: "She does not offer facts in the advertisement to verify her claim." But, while Healy noted that the Clinton campaign "has a trove of statistics to illustrate unmet needs of the uninsured and of veterans," he did not provide any of them in his article.

In the commercial, Clinton asserts that families "who don't have health care," "single mom[s] trying to find affordable child care," and "soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan" are all "invisible to this president." From the ad:

CLINTON: You know, if you're a family that is struggling and you don't have health care, well, you are invisible to this president. If you're a single mom trying to find affordable child care so you can go to work, well, you're invisible too. And I never thought I would see that our soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan would be treated as though they were invisible as well.

Unmentioned in the write-up, in which Healy asserted that Bush "would certainly disagree" with the accusations in the ad, is a comment President Bush recently made relevant to his thinking about "famil[ies who] don't have health care." During a July 10 speech, Bush asserted: "I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room." The Times has covered this comment only on its op-ed page, in Paul Krugman's July 16 and July 30 columns (subscription required), as well as Judith Warner's July 21 guest column (subscription required). Times reporters Jeffrey Zeleny and Sheryl Gay Stolberg covered Bush's speech in a July 11 article but did not report his remarks concerning "access to health care in America."

From Healy's Times analysis:

ACCURACY President Bush would certainly disagree with Mrs. Clinton's accusation that he does not pay attention to single mothers, veterans or people who lack health care. She does not offer facts in the advertisement to verify her claim, but her campaign has a trove of statistics to illustrate unmet needs of the uninsured and of veterans.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
The New York Times
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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