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Despite the Washington Post admitting in their latest fact check they “were tempted to award Two Pinocchios” for a recent quote from President Joe Biden on inflation, they ultimately declined and said, “[W]e will leave this unrated and let readers decide for themselves.”
Biden asserted Thursday, “What people don’t know is that 70 percent of the increase in inflation was the consequence of Putin’s price hike because of the impact on oil prices. Seventy percent.”
The Washington Post decided to get to the bottom of claim by running the numbers.
“Many people might believe the president was referring to the headline annual number in the inflation report — 8.5 percent … We certainly did when we first heard this line,” The paper’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler admitted.
But Kessler calculated that 70 percent of the February to March inflation increase was attributable to an increase in energy prices and decided that’s what Biden meant.
In all, he assessed, “Biden’s math is defensible … but at the same time, ordinary people might certainly have assumed he was referring to the 12-month inflation rate, not the one-month figure.”
Kessler said, “We were tempted to award Two Pinocchios, essentially half true. We certainly would be more comfortable if Biden had referred specifically to monthly inflation figures.”
However, they declined to give him the rating: “But he did refer to the invasion that began 50 days ago. So we will leave this unrated and let readers decide for themselves.”
Newsbusters Executive Editor Tim Graham told Fox News Digital that the paper let Biden off easy, saying, “When they get around to evaluating a Democrat, they want to offer Two Pinocchios (sort of half true) or No Rating, because the Democrat apologizes and promises to do better in the future.”
He then implied they would have never given former President Donald Trump (whom they gave many four Pinocchio ratings throughout his presidency) the benefit of the doubt like this. “The Post Pinocchio squad deeply believes that the Democrats cannot be compared to Trump,” Graham said.
The Biden administration has been pushing the “Putin Price Hike” slogan for over a month.
Even Democrats have balked at this talking point, with former senior advisor to Obama David Axelrod saying in March, “People don’t believe that either … They know that gas prices were high before this. They haven’t dialed this in quite right yet. You can’t blame everything in the economy on Putin.”