In which we award Michelle Ye Hee Lee one Rather

Washington Post Fact Check reporter Michelle Ye Hee Lee found Rudy Giuliani guilty of telling a whopper when he stated recently: “We’ve had four months of propaganda, starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police.” On Face the Nation this past Sunday, Major Garrett asked Giuliani if he wanted to retract his statement in light of the Washington’s Post’s verdict. Giuliani rejected the verdict (video below).

In response to Garrett’s question Giuliani unleashed this quotable quote: “I think you miss one very important point. He has had Al Sharpton to the White House 80, 85 times. Often when he’s talking about police issues he has Al Sharpton sitting next to him. Have a poster boy for hating the police, it’s Al Sharpton. You make Al Sharpton a close adviser, you’re going to turn the police in America against you. You’re going to tell the police in America we don’t understand you. I saw this man help cause riots in New York; I’ve heard his anti-police invective first-hand. To have a man who hasn’t paid $4 million in taxes, have a man who’s spent his career helping to create riots and phony stories about police, to have that man sitting next to you speaks volumes. You know, actions speak louder than words. You put Al Sharpton next to you, you just told everyone you’re against the police.”

Ms. Ye Hee Lee was not amused. She took up Giuliani’s response to her verdict and subjected it to the machinery of her investigation.

She first examines Giuliani’s claim that Sharpton has visited the White House “80, 85 times[.]” She verifies that Giuliani’s claim comports with his source, but takes a close look at the White House database. She will only vouch for 72 times. She breaks down these 72 visits scientifically into categories that seek to diminish the appearance of Sharpton’s standing with the White House. She then finds Giuliani guilty of exaggerating Sharpton’s status as a “close adviser” of Obama and awards Giuliani’s Face the Nation statement one Pinocchio.

Ms. Ye Hee Lee is guilty of glorified quibbling. In her rush to judgment, moreover, Ms. Ye Hee Lee overlooks Glenn Thrush’s reportage on Sharpton’s standing with the White House. Thrush characterized Sharpton as the White House’s go-to man on race. Thrush quoted White House sources making out Sharpton’s standing. Thrush’s article provides all the evidence necessary to support the gist of Giuliani’s Face the Nation statement. I therefore award Ms. Ye Hee Lee’s column one Rather, indicating selective use of evidence reflective of journalistic bias.


One more point. In that Ms. Ye Hee Lee is reviewing Giuliani’s response to her own column awarding Giuliani four Pinnocios, she is acting as a judge in her own case. I award Ms. Ye Hee Lee one Henry VII for the want of due process in the proceedings.


Ms. Ye Hee Lee’s column is not completely worthless. In researching it, she elicited another quotable quote from the invaluable Mr. Giuliani: “Do I think there are legitimate civil rights activists? Absolutely. Do I think Al Sharpton is a legitimate civil rights activist? Are you out of your mind? Are you living on Mars? If you can’t figure out Al Sharpton is a con man, you’re not a reporter. Al Sharpton stands for something. He is involved in every racial or quasi-racial issues that has involved any police officer … always on the side of whoever is against the police. Some of them have been legitimate, many of them have been illegitimate.”

Via Seth Mandel/Commentary.