Did Politifact Cave to Virginia Dems After Whining About McAuliffe Takedown?

On Tuesday, we noticed one more instance of the buddy-buddy relationship between the liberal media and people they need to assist work to elect. A day after Virginia’s Politifact published a takedown of a deceptive advert from former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s marketing campaign towards Republican Glenn Youngkin, the outlet retracted it Tuesday underneath the auspices of “a substantial omission.”

As of this story’s publication, the Politifact-affiliate Virginia Public Media (VPM) had but to publish “a retraction notice” about why they “missed some key details” regardless of having promised one in a tweet at 2:12 p.m. Eastern.

First, the now-retracted article. “Politifact VA: McAuliffe Misleadingly Claims Youngkin Praised Him” instantly spelled doom for McAuliffe with its lede noting {that a} 39-second advert claimed Youngkin “was a ‘big fan’ of McAuliffe’s governorship from 2014-2018.”

The advert centered on an April 7, 2017 U.S. Export-Import Bank convention panel Youngkin had moderated with McAuliffe as one of many panelists. Politifact even transcribed the advert (click on “expand”):

Narrator: “Glenn Youngkin is relying on an old political playbook: trash your opponent and try to scare the public into liking you.”
Youngkin: “I’m having a Virginia crisis because our commonwealth is in the ditch.”
Narrator: “But before he ran for office, he was a big fan of Terry McAuliffe and his record as Governor. Here’s one example:”
Youngkin: “Here, we have one out of fifty states that’s doing very well, and particularly in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Narrator: “Here’s another:”
Youngkin: “If you want to put a new plant down, that’s the place to put it.”
Narrator: “And one more time.”
Youngkin: “Governor, I’m going to come back to the role you played in developing Virginia’s economy. How do you do it?”
Narrator: “Come on, Glenn.”

Writer Warren Fiske then launched right into a brutal evisceration of the truth that “[t]he ad edits and alters Youngkin’s sentences and, in instances, presents them out of context” and went line by line displaying what Youngkin really mentioned.

Going to the primary quote from the 2017 occasion (which was the second Youngkin quote within the transcript), Fiske identified that “Youngkin was not offering his personal opinion” however moderately “summarizing remarks made by his four-member panel.”

Here was what Youngkin really mentioned:

What we’ve mentioned, simply to summarize a bit bit, is whereas not 100% agreeing that we’re in a full restoration, I believe there’s a normal sense of the US financial system doing okay, and significantly within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Here now we have one out of fifty states that is doing very nicely and has actually proven nice strides.

Again, not precisely fawning over McAuliffe.

In the second panel quote, Fiske argued the complete comment confirmed “Youngkin was simply asking McAuliffe to explain how he goes about recruiting foreign businesses to Virginia,” which is one thing all governors ought to do.

After debunking the final quote, Fiske acknowledged “[m]oderators are typically neutral and polite to panelists” and “Youngkin’s 2017 words do not prove he was a ‘big fan’ of the former governor’s economic policies, or that his current criticism of McAuliffe’s stewardship is a flip flop.”

With no warning, the piece was retracted with rumors suggesting it was as a result of a Virginia Democratic Party press launch masquerading as a Business Insider article (which the get together gleefully promoted).

This raised a moderately fundamental query: If the video confirmed what it confirmed and the complete quotes have been the complete quotes, then why was there an issue?

But digging into the Business Insider story and we knew from the headline that it might be filled with fluff: “Virginia’s GOP gubernatorial nominee praised the state’s economy when his Democratic opponent was in charge.”

This gained’t come as a shock, however the quotes Business Insider used have been additionally taken out of context (together with some the Politfifact piece had debunked) and the so-called reporting coming off just like the work of a area staffer.

Following a lazy lede about how “[i]t’s an uncomfortable bit of reality” for Youngkin, reporters Adam Wren and Warren Rojas whined that Youngkin’s “quick to tarnish McAuliffe” earlier than providing the identical deceptive quotes that have been within the McAuliffe advert (and mocked Youngkin as “an eager student” of McAuliffe’s).

They additionally got here armed with quotes from 2019 and 2020 (click on “expand”):

Youngkin delivered reward for Virginia’s financial system simply final yr too.

In an interview with McKinsey & Company, the businessman famous that the state then underneath the management of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam had a “high growth tech industry, a growing health care sector, and an established manufacturing presence.” 


Back in 2019, when Virginia Polytechnic Institute introduced it was constructing an innovation campus in Northern Virginia, Youngkin was equally enthused.

“What’s happening in Northern Virginia is truly transformational, and Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus will be right at the heart of it,” Youngkin mentioned in a press launch on the time. “Think of the possibilities — new technologies, new businesses, new markets, extraordinary new talent — all being created right here in Northern Virginia. And now, the scope of this ambition can be fully matched by this great location, which will be the home of the next global technology hub.”

But as Youngkin remade himself right into a Republican politician within the Trump period — in the end successful the gubernatorial nomination amid a crowded area of conservatives — his appraisal of the state’s financial local weather modified, too. 

In greater than 30 public interviews, Youngkin dinged McAuliffe and “leaders in Richmond.” The state’s financial system — regardless of being rated as a “Top State for Business” in 2019 — was now in “the ditch,” he’s repeated over and over. 

“For eight years, we all watched the McAuliffe Northam political machine drive Virginia into the ditch,” Youngkin mentioned throughout a May 21 marketing campaign rally, standing in entrance of an American flag and cardboard packing containers. 

Unsurprisingly, there have been issues with these quotes. In each circumstances, neither had something to do with McAuliffe’s tenure and worse but, each have been butchered.

In the McKinsey interview, Youngkin took a giant image view of Virginia’s long-term financial system. 

Here’s the complete quote: “If you’d looked at the Virginia economy then, you’d have seen a number of elements: a high-growth tech industry, a growing healthcare sector, and an established manufacturing presence around the marine industry, particularly shipbuilding and ship repair.” 

And within the 2019 Virginia Tech feedback, Youngkin was talking concerning the state of 1 sector of the financial system in Northern Virginia, not all sectors throughout the whole Commonwealth.

In different phrases, he was thought of the advantages and pitfalls of the financial system. Who knew one may assume that approach!

Nonetheless, Business Insider continued to simp for his or her most popular candidate with these embarrassing speaking factors that got here off like a CNN monologue (click on “expand”):

What’s obvious from an Insider assessment of the first-time politician’s press clips and social media feeds is that he’s filled with conservative outrage: denouncing vital race concept, blocking police reform, and shielding gun rights are all GOP go-tos on the tradition struggle entrance. He’s in any other case just about a clean slate on the coverage entrance. 


Youngkin routinely talks about “reigniting” Virginia’s “rip-roaring” financial system with out explaining how he’ll spark such a revitalization. 


Virginia Democrats took their very own swing at Youngkin over his flip-flop on the state’s financial system.

“Before pledging his complete allegiance to Donald Trump, Youngkin knew Terry McAuliffe was an excellent governor who oversaw record economic growth and created over 200,000 good-paying jobs,” Manuel Bonder, spokesman with Democratic Party of Virginia, advised Insider.

“Now, Youngkin is a hypocritical, dishonest Republican politician who will say and do anything to get elected — just like Trump,” he added. “Virginia needs a governor who will work to lift up all Virginians — not one who will put GOP extremism over the truth every step of the way.”

Returning to the delay in a retraction and follow-up merchandise, longtime Virginia Republican operative Garren Shipley mentioned it finest when he tweeted: “In all seriousness, the longer this statement from @myVPM takes, the worse it looks.”