As President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address, some reporters were eager to check his facts as he delivered the speech, but many felt a fact check from NPR was too eager.
During his speech, President Trump congratulated the congresswomen and female senators for being a part of the largest class of female legislators in Congress. In one of the largest applauses of the night, almost every member in the chamber was on their feet clapping for the historical achievement acknowledged by the president.
The moment was especially unifying because most of the women in Congress are members of the Democratic Party. The congresswomen, dressed in white as an ode to the suffragettes, were all celebrating Trump’s remarks.
'Don't sit yet, you're gonna like this': Women in Congress cheer as President Trump points out that there are more of them now than ever before in U.S. history #SOTU https://t.co/xQzf2Hkbel pic.twitter.com/kb2OUfQouX
The president even knew it was a unifying comment, prefacing it with, “Don’t sit yet, you’re going to like this.”
Despite the moment being one of the most unifying and uplifting of the evening, NPR still chose to fact check his statement.
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) February 6, 2019
Many, from both sides of the political spectrum, found this fact check to be petty and unnecessary. Others just mocked the fact check by comparing other irrelevant situations.
This is valuable context, but I don't think it's a "fact check" https://t.co/RvnxRxZy3W
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 6, 2019
What the president said was self-evidently true, wasn't it? Not sure why it is subject for a 'fact check.' https://t.co/jR1l2zaQUM
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 6, 2019
FACT CHECK: President Trump says grass is green, but Australia has more grasslands than the United States https://t.co/z6rs5o4Jtr
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) February 6, 2019
Some were more frustrated with the irrelevant fact check than others. Fox News’ Laura Ingraham claimed it was “purposeful lying” while the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., took that one step further.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 6, 2019
Fact check: You people are morons. He praised them and their success. He didn’t pick sides. He didn’t take credit. He genuinely was happy for it and yet you still knock him.
What the hell is wrong with you? https://t.co/I2R0IrPIYn
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 6, 2019
Other reporters, like Selena Zito of the Washington Examiner, feared that these misleading fact checks perpetuate the distrust many Americans feel toward the media.
Come on. Seriously. This is why people don’t like my profession. He literally just praised women. That thing that you always want him to do. Not women of any political party. Not women of “trumps party“. He praised women. https://t.co/H2qnxBFdIB
— SalenaZito (@SalenaZito) February 6, 2019
Despite NPR’s unnecessary fact checking, the president’s speech was well received. As IJR previously reported, a poll from CBS News found that 76 percent of Americans approved of the address.