90 Miles From Tyranny : In Trump Fact Check, CNN Fact-Checker Leaves Out …the Facts

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

In Trump Fact Check, CNN Fact-Checker Leaves Out …the Facts



CNN’s fact-checking unit reached out last week to The Heritage Foundation for analysis of President Donald Trump’s recent comments about the U.S. military’s munitions stockpile at the time he took office.

Bewilderingly, the fact-checker for the cable news pioneer then ignored those facts.

Some 24 hours and multiple emails after the initial request, CNN published its “fact check,” claiming Trump severely exaggerated the sad state of the munitions stockpile when he became president, and also his impact on the rebuild since.

Just one problem: CNN completely omitted the wealth of data provided by a Heritage Foundation defense analyst demonstrating exactly the opposite to be true.

This episode highlights an important question—every reporter is a fact-checker. But what’s the response when someone, especially someone with “fact-checker” in his title, just … gets the fact checks wrong?

Based on research provided to CNN, Col. John “JV” Venable, Heritage’s senior research fellow for defense programs, laid out how the U.S. military was indeed facing a munitions shortage in the waning years of the Obama administration. Venable is a retired Air Force pilot with 25 years of service.

Using publicly available data from U.S. Central Command and the secretary of the Air Force’s Financial Management website, Venable showed that the joint force dropped more than twice as many precision-guided munitions (PGMs)—think “smart bombs,” like the JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition)—in just the last three years of the Obama administration than the Air Force could purchase during the full eight years of President Barack Obama’s tenure.

While Navy numbers were not included in the analysis to CNN, Venable did note that Air Force acquisition of precision-guided munitions dwarfs that of the Navy—analysis the numbers also showed to be true.

According to a 2018 Defense Department Selective Acquisition Report, the service purchased a total of 4,485 JDAM guidance kits during the eight years of the Obama presidency. When added to the 45,198 the Air Force purchased during the same years, the joint force collectively acquired 49,963 precision munitions, while it dropped around 96,000 in just the three years preceding Trump’s inauguration.

Not only was the force dropping far more bombs than it was taking in—the delay between getting munitions from the checkout line to the flight line was also a compounding factor.

“[I]t takes 2-3 years from purchase order to delivery of these munitions,” Venable wrote to CNN, adding that, “Currently the Trump administration is rebuilding the PGM stockpile by purchasing as many munitions as...


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1 comment:

  1. Is anyone, except hard core far leftists, even watching CNN anymore? Their tower of lies extends so far that you could walk up it and step off on the moon at this point.

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