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Justice Department Fights Back Against Media Bias

Administration mobilizes to swat down dubious claims about Trump's immigration policies, crime


Most Americans with any sort of common sense can see the true BIAS and HATRED demonstrated by the Mainstream Media towards our current president, but when the BIAS and HATRED becomes false accusations that are politically motivated one would think it's time to put an end to this schrade. 


 Lifezette Reports:


The Justice Department is fighting back against the predominantly liberal mainstream media, after a rash of misleading fact-checks and claims about crime and President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Justice Department officials fired a big warning shot on Sunday, when Ian Prior, the department’s principal deputy director of public affairs, upbraided The Washington Post for a September 1 fact-checking article on claims made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The Justice Department is also pushing back on claims made by New York Times reporters on a podcast that detainers issued against illegal immigrants are unconstitutional.
Prior took offense to The Washington Post's fact-checking column giving Sessions, the nation's top law-enforcement officer, "four Pinocchios" for saying that an increase in violent crime is "staggering."
"In 2015, the total number of violent crimes increased by 3.9 percent nationwide, and the violent crime rate increased by 3.1 percent nationwide, according to data from the FBI," The Post conceded.
But the Beltway's liberal newspaper then quibbled with Sessions' choice of words — moving from fact-checking to dubious pedantry.
"The increases represent the largest single-year increase in the violent crime rate since 1991, but it is hardly a staggering rise," wrote Nicole Lewis, of the Post's Fact Checker column.
The awarding of Four Pinocchios angered Prior.
"The Post argues (incorrectly) that the attorney general's statements 'are a distortion of the facts' and graded his statements 'whoppers' or lies, Prior wrote in Sunday's Washington Times' opinion section. "Yet, what we know is that this is merely because the Post disagrees with the interpretation of the factual data. It's sad but increasingly understandable that a Gallup poll in September 2016 found that only one-third of Americans say they have even a 'fair amount' of trust in the media — an all-time low. And that's the truth."
The Post's Fact Checker column is led by columnist Glenn Kessler. It is rife with partisan shots at Trump, and seems to use its mission to constantly heap charges of lying upon Republicans, say critics.


"There's nothing wrong with countering facts with facts: that Sessions says violent crime is up, but it's not up if you go back 10 or 20 years," said Tim Graham, the research director for the conservative-leaning Media Research Center. "But that's not what Sessions said. These liberal-media fact checkers describe things as multi-Pinocchio lies when the articles themselves say, 'True, but!'"
Graham said it's odd The Post will go to liberal groups to confirm facts or numbers.
"They accuse Sessions of cherry-picking, and then go pick a different basket of cherries," Graham said. "Then they turn to leftist groups like the Brennan Center as if they're objective number-crunchers. I can't imagine they would turn to the MRC for fact-checking numbers. We're the wrong ideology. "
On another front, Justice Department officials are mocking claims made on a New York Times podcast that detainers issued by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency are unconstitutional.
The claim was made September 18 by Michael Barbaro on The New York Times' podcast, "The Daily," and its guest, Times reporter Caitlin Dickerson.
"If they hold an undocumented criminal too long, they're violating the Constitution," Barbaro intoned, kicking off the show. "If they don't, they're crossing the White House. The impossible bind of sheriffs, navigating Trump's immigration crackdown."
The podcast was based on Dickerson's earlier story on Sergio Jose Martinez, "an illegal immigrant who has been deported to Mexico 20 times and has been arrested 10 times this year. His release after a recent stint in jail ... illustrated a fundamental issue in the relationship between local authorities and federal immigration authorities."
The sheriff in Portland, Oregon, let Martinez go one day. Martinez then attacked two women on July 24.
Dickerson said, bluntly, that detaining Martinez for up to 48 hours after his jail term would have violated the Constitution. After an inquiry from LifeZette, Justice Department officials derided Dickerson's claim.
Dickerson noted counties get sued after they detain people in ICE warrants. But she noted some of these people are U.S. citizens. In fact, in most of the lawsuits, it was a U.S. citizen being held, without actual probable cause on behalf of ICE to believe the person was subject to deportation, according to Justice officials.
Under former Homeland Secretary John Kelly, the federal government set new policies for ICE detainers. They included the establishment of probable cause to believe that the subject is an illegal alien, removable from the United States. All ICE detainers must be accompanied by either an alien arrest warrant, or a warrant for removal or deportation.
Federal officials told LifeZette it's an "absurd notion" that sanctuary jurisdictions want to help ICE but fear violating the Constitution. Any sheriff who wanted to assist ICE in removing criminal aliens could be cooperative by submitting information about criminal alien detainees to ICE, officials said. That would ensure the agency has at least 48 hours of notice before the criminal is released.
Finally, ICE detainers are not unconstitutional, the officials said.
(photo credit, homepage image: Gage Skidmore, Flickr; photo credit, article image: Ryan J. Reilly, Flickr)
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