Earlier this week, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tried to claim that our bridges were racist.
I kid you not, he said it.
What made it worse was that the media defended what he said, at least initially.
In the case of the Washington Post, however, that defense has since been walked back after realizing it made a colossal mistake.
Buttigieg, on Monday, stated, “I’m still surprised that some people were surprised when I pointed to the fact that if a highway was built for the purpose of dividing a White and a Black neighborhood, or if an underpass was constructed such that a bus carrying mostly Black and Puerto Rican kids to a beach, or that would’ve been, in New York was designed too low for it to pass by, that that obviously reflects racism that went into those design choices.”
When people questioned Buttigieg’s premise, WaPo fact-checker Glenn Kessler defended his comments by referencing a Robert Caro book…
This is detailed at length in Robert Caro's Pulitzer Prize-winning book on Robert Moses, "The Power Broker." See especially pages 318-319: "He began to limit access by buses; he instructed Shapiro to build the bridges across his new parkways low — too low for buses to pass."… https://t.co/QmgpxU6Lag
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) November 8, 2021
Phillip Bump, another WaPo writer, added, “And this is why it’s useful to talk about historical examples of institutionalized racism,” which claimed the transportation secretary’s remark “served as an opportunity not only to elevate the specific story to which he was referring but the utility of educating Americans about a complicated history of systemic racism.”
Here is the problem…
Virtually everything in that book has been debunked over the years.
Kessler, a fact-checker, bought in without actually checking his facts.
Caro’s book cited largely one source, a source most experts feel grossly exaggerated his claims.
This would be akin to me basing a fact-check after only consulting with someone like Al Sharpton.
Kessler ended up apologizing for his “knee-jerk” reaction, writing, “There has been some revisionism and Moses’s achievements are now viewed in a better light.
“In particular, the anecdote about the parkway bridges has been increasingly questioned, along with other details in Caro’s book.”
He concluded, “Buttigieg should tailor his remarks to reflect what is historically unimpeachable — and we should be more careful to double-check on the latest views of historians.
“Even a Pulitzer Prize-winning book is not always the last word on a subject.”
Kessler should know by now, this administration deals far more in fiction than in fact, so he may want to consider firing up that database on administration lies again.
I think we already have about 1,000 we can get him started with.
Source: Fox News