Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

National Public Radio’s ‘Freakonomics’ Repeats Charlottesville Hoax

Posted by M. C. on April 1, 2019

by Joel B. Pollak

National Public Radio’s Freakonomics podcast interviewed former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn and repeated the false claim that President Donald Trump referred to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, as “very fine people.”

The podcast, first published March 13, aired March 31 on WBEZ-Chicago. It includes a passage in which President Trump’s remarks at a press conference in August 2017 are deceptively edited to convince listeners he referred to neo-Nazis and white supremacists as “very fine people” — when, in fact, he had specifically condemned them.

(CNN used a similar deceptive edit from early February through early March, and has yet to correct or retract its claims.)

The Freaknomics transcript is as follows:

While putting together the tax plan, just eight months into Trump’s term, came a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

MARCHERS: Anti-white, anti-white, anti-white.

MARCHERS: Jews will not replace us. Jews will not replace us.

There were counter demonstrations as well, and violence. Trump’s response is now infamous.

TRUMP: You had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.

And it did nothing to ease the tension; Gary Cohn, by the way, is Jewish.

Cohn’s disappointment was well-documented at the time, including by Breitbart News, though it is not clear what, precisely, had bothered him in Trump’s response.

Freakonomics does not mention that Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, who is also Jewish, defended the president’s remarks and said they had been mischaracterized.

Breitbart News and others have repeatedly debunked the false claim about “very fine people.” The full transcript of Trump’s remarks makes clear beyond any doubt that he specifically excluded the neo-Nazis from “very fine people.”

Be seeing you

'Welcome to 'All Sides of the Issues.' Here's our panel of commentators -- a communist, a socialist, a liberal, and a progressive....'

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: