Calvin Woodward’s Fractured Fact-Check Strikes Again

Associated Press reporter Calvin Woodward has a history of straining to catch Barack Obama in factual errors. But today’s review of last night’s Obama press conference may have hit a new low in absurdity.

In the piece, headlined “Fact Check: Obama Disowns Deficit He Helped Shape,” Woodward takes issue with Obama’s statement: “Number one, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit…. That wasn’t me.” Woodward’s criticism: “It actually was him–and the other Democrats controlling Congress the previous two years–who shaped a budget so out of balance…. Congress controls the purse strings, not the president, and it was under Democratic control for Obama’s last two years as Illinois senator.”

Well, if an Illinois senator bears more responsibility for the federal budget than the president, than why is Woodward wasting his time covering what President Obama has to say about the budget? Shouldn’t he be interviewing Roland Burris instead?

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.