For 8 years, the media was uninterested in what anything cost. It was conservative outlets that invariably did pieces about how much the White House or a cabinet member spent on X, Y or Z. (I did numberless posts of that sort.)
Then Trump won and such pieces went mainstream. Especially at the EPA where ridiculous waste had been ignored during the Obama years. But now it was all the rage.
The New York Times decided to shovel off a piece of clickbait just like that. Except there was one major problem.
State Department Spent $52701 on Curtains for Nikki Haley’s Residence – New York Times
The number and Haley’s name are right in the headline. That’s what we call clickbait. And yes, it’s also fake news.
Like the big papers, the Times technically didn’t lie. Instead it deliberately misled.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is drawing criticism over curtains in her official residence costing nearly $53,000 – purchased amid deep budget cuts in the State Department. Trouble is, the purchase was approved in 2016, under the Obama administration.
The New York Times reported this week that $52,701 was spent last year on buying customized and mechanized curtains for the picture windows in Haley’s New York City residence, for which rent is $58,000 a month.
But the paper didn’t mention until the sixth paragraph that Haley’s spokesman said the Trump administration had no input in the purchase decision.
Patrick Kennedy, the top management official at the State Department during the Obama administration, defended the spending, saying the curtains will be used by future officials and cited security and entertainment purposes.
“All she’s got is a part-time maid, and the ability to open and close the curtains quickly is important,” Kennedy told the newspaper.
There’s nothing to fact check, the paper didn’t lie, it just knew perfectly well that most lefties wouldn’t bother digging into the details. Facebook engagement would go up. Truth would go down.
It should touch off the same fact checking debate that the Weekly Standard’s fact check of Think Progress did.