Apr 09, 2015 - 1:15pm

Washington Post Fact Checker Doesn’t Question Facts But Still Calls Ex-Im Tweet “Irresponsible”

Andrew Harrer - Ex-Im.JPG

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

If you thought the media’s “fact checking” phenomenon was inane when one operation “investigated” whether Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker could buy a sweater for $1, we have Michelle Ye Hee Lee at The Washington Post’s Fact Checker declaring this U.S. Chamber tweet on the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) “irresponsible," even though she doesn't question any facts.

on Twitter

It’s a Twitter quiz, a fun way to educate the public about this issue. Lee is bothered that it states that Ex-Im hasn’t cost the taxpayers a penny. In fact, it has generated $7 billion in surpluses for taxpayers over the last two decades.

Lee doesn’t question the facts--that would be impossible to do since they come from Ex-Im’s annual report which conforms to current federal law.

Instead, Lee went after the medium in which these facts were presented, writing, “Accurately simplifying this esoteric topic to four clicks on a tweet is just not possible.”

Agreed. No one at the Chamber claims the Ex-Im Bank’s importance to jobs and the economy can be boiled down to a tweet. Thus we’ve published blog postssmall business testimonials,  videos [ hereherehere, and here], slide shows, and yes, lots of social media content. All these pieces together tell the story of why Congress should pass a long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.

We’re not sure why the Chamber got hit for using the numbers required by law.

Lee isn’t willing to choose between accounting methods, but Ex-Im doesn't have that luxury. It must report its accounts the way it does. What’s more, as Lee reports, “the Government Accountability Office found it ‘reasonable’ for the Export-Import Bank to report that it had sent more money to the Treasury than it was appropriated.”

Wouldn't reporting results using a method other than the one legally required be irresponsible? 

What's "irresponsible" is pulling one tweet out of thin air.

Sometimes a tweet is just a tweet.

Lighten up.

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