Tonight President Trump addressed a raucous rally in Florida. His speech featured a call for voter ID, a popular issue with most Americans but one the Democratic Party press opposes, since pretty much all voter fraud favors the Democrats. The Associated Press, perhaps Trump’s most bitter enemy other than CNN and MSNBC, headlined just one “fact” about Trump’s speech: “Trump at rally makes false claim on photo IDs for groceries.”
The AP starts its story:
President Donald Trump on Tuesday wrongly claimed that shoppers need to show photo identification to buy groceries and accused Democrats of obstructing his agenda and his Supreme Court nominee during a raucous rally aimed at bolstering two Florida Republicans ahead of the state’s primary.
Later, the AP elaborates:
Tuesday night’s freewheeling rally lasted more than an hour and included numerous attacks on the media, as well as one glaring false claim. Trump was railing against the idea of noncitizens voting and advocating stricter voting laws when he claimed that IDs are required for everything else, including shopping.
“If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID,” he said at the event at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. “You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture.”
A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to questions about when the billionaire president last bought groceries or anything else himself. Photo IDs are required for certain purchases, such as alcohol, cigarettes or cold medicine.
This is classic Democratic Party press coverage. The AP doesn’t want to deal with the fact that Trump’s point was correct. We have to show ID for all kinds of things; everyone has identification. We should have to show ID to vote, too. The logic is unassailable, and it doesn’t turn on groceries.
Did the AP catch Trump in an untruth? No. Trump wasn’t making a specific point about groceries, he used groceries as an example. He went on to say that “You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture.” I think it is obvious that Trump was talking about paying for purchases (groceries or otherwise) with a check. Yes, Trump is so old that he remembers when people actually paid for things with checks.
In case you have forgotten, it is common practice for stores to ask for identification when you buy groceries or other goods with a personal check. For those who haven’t used checks in years, this site provides a helpful reminder:
If a business accepts checks, you will need to provide identification proving that the checking account you are using belongs to you. Some small businesses cannot afford the risk of bad checks, so they only accept other forms of payment. However, if you are allowed to pay with a check, your ID will be requested to try to minimize loss from people writing checks against closed accounts or accounts with no money.
Your check should contain your name and address, which should match the same information on your ID. Most businesses require a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or military card.
That obviously is what Trump was talking about when he said that “You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture.”
The problem with the Associated Press isn’t just that its reporters are stupid or ill-informed, although that often is the case. The real problem is that the AP’s reporting is so often in bad faith, deliberately pretending not to understand, as in this instance, President Trump’s reference, and doggedly refusing to engage with the point he was making: identification is required all the time, we all have identification or can easily get it, the only reason not to require it for voting is a desire to enable voter fraud. The Associated Press’s reporting is a giant exercise in trying to change the subject.