Every year it seems like the media hits a new low.
Fact-checking has become even more shameless about describing lies as truth and truth as lies.
The $30 million grant program, which closed applications Monday and will begin in May, will provide funds to nonprofits and local governments to help make drug use safer for addicts. Included in the grant, which is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, are funds for “smoking kits/supplies.” A spokesman for the agency told the Washington Free Beacon that these kits will provide pipes for users to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and “any illicit substance.”
The sum of the argument is whether crack pipes are specifically included. Patrick Hauf, the Free Beacon reporter who broke the story, argues that the “safe” drug kids can and have included crack pipes in the past. The official HHS statement denies that they will fund crack pipes.
“HHS and ONDCP are focused on using our resources smartly to reduce harm and save lives. Accordingly, no federal funding will be used directly or through subsequent reimbursement of grantees to put pipes in safe smoking kits.”
Glenn Kessler, the only halfway credible media fact-checker, tweeted that, “Note how carefully worded this statement is. Unlike WH comment, there is no suggestion that the original reporting on crack pipes was wrong. The use of the word “Accordingly” suggests a change in policy without directly saying so.”
But the official Washington Post fact check is 99% pulpit pounding about horrible Republicans and 1% addressing the issue.
The only attempt in the 4-page editorial headlined, “No, the federal government isn’t spending $30 million on ‘crack pipes’”, to address the core issue is this paragraph,
“Also on the list: “safe smoking kits.” Typically, such kits include a rubber mouthpiece to prevent cuts and burns, brass screens to filter contaminants and disinfectant wipes, according to Harm Reduction International.
Favaro, whose program does not distribute the “safe smoking kits” approved by HHS, said groups that provide kits typically don’t include a glass pipe as it is expensive relative to providing the rubber mouthpiece. Clean glass pipes are intended to curb sharing pipes and spreading oral infections or injecting with needles, a riskier method of doing drugs.”
Are free crack pipes being handed out? After the furor, the Biden administration is insisting that they won’t be. Without the FB story, would crack pipes have been handed out? Quite possibly. And I wouldn’t be surprised if crack pipes end up being included locally in the kits anyway.