Republican fundraising emails are far more likely to promote misinformation than Democratic fundraising emails, according to the New York Times.
What hard evidence did the paper produce to back this claim? None. You just have to take it at its word.
The paper explained it signed up “for the campaign lists of the 390 senators and representatives running for re-election in 2022,” declining to explain why, exactly, it restricted its criteria only to those running for reelection. “Republicans included misinformation far more often: in about 15 percent of their messages, compared with about 2 percent for Democrats. In addition, multiple Republicans often spread the same unfounded claims, whereas Democrats rarely repeated one another’s."
It conceded that “the relatively small number of false statements from Democrats were mostly about abortion,” including an email from Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, who said the Mississippi law debated by the Supreme Court is “nearly identical to the one in Texas, banning abortions after 6 weeks.”
“A spokeswoman for Ms. Maloney called the inaccuracy an ‘honest mistake’ and said the campaign would check future emails more carefully,” the New York Times reported, leaving it at that.
It continued, focusing on GOP emails alleging the Department of Justice is targeting parents who oppose race essentialism in the classroom as “domestic terrorists.” For the New York Times, this claim is outright misinformation. However, the Department of Justice confirmed the catalyst for its decision to investigate parents was a letter the National School Boards Association sent the White House, petitioning it to investigate school board protesters. It was revealed later that the letter was written in coordination with members of the Biden administration. In other words, the Biden White House petitioned the Biden White House. The letter, by the way, definitely suggested that school board protests should be classified as a form of “domestic terrorism.”
All that said, there’s no question Republican fundraising emails are hyperbolic. There’s likewise no question some GOP fundraising emails promote falsehoods. However, the notion that it’s as lopsided as the New York Times claimed is, well, let’s put it this way: I’ll believe it when I see it.
I'm certainly not going to take the New York Times’s word for it.
Indeed, as someone who has the great misfortune of being on the receiving end of many Democratic fundraising emails, I can assure you many are chockablock with misinformation.
A November fundraising email sent by Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan's Ohio senate campaign, for example, claimed Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial victory this year in Virginia was a win for “far-right extremism.”
In what way is the milquetoast Youngkin a far-right extremist?
A fundraising email sent by failed Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe likewise labeled Youngkin an “extremist.”
A November fundraising email sent by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, labeled the Michigan Freedom Fund, a conservative advocacy group that focuses on government transparency and education, as an “extremist” group.
Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia sent a fundraising email this year claiming the GOP is using voter suppression to steal elections in the Peach State. Humorously enough, this particular fundraising email came a few months after a separate email from Ossoff, in which he boasted, “I won more votes than any Georgia Democrat in state history.” Voter suppression, indeed.
There are smaller falsehoods, including the time Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia solicited funds on behalf of Maloney, characterizing the latter’s district in New York as a “battleground.” New York’s 12th Congressional District is rated "D+31," according to the Cook Political Report. It’s not going red anytime soon.
There’s more, but you get the picture.
I am curious to see a breakdown of GOP versus Democratic misinformation in fundraising emails. Unfortunately, the New York Times doesn’t make any of its data available. I am curious also to know the criteria by which the New York Times judges a statement to be misinformation or merely exaggeration.
Does the New York Times agree Youngkin is an “extremist?” Does it believe Georgia Republicans are using voter suppression tactics to steal elections? Does it believe these statements are hyperbole or actual misinformation?
The New York Times asks simply that we believe it when it says Republicans lie far more often than their Democratic counterparts.
The problem here is: There's no good reason to trust the New York Times’s judgment. You have no reason to trust the New York Times to recognize Democratic lies as such, especially when it characterizes the few Democratic fundraising lies it identified merely as “whoopsie daisies.”