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The timing of Washington Post’s latest “fact-check” on Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., which has been panned by critics, is raising questions.
Scott, who was chosen Thursday to deliver the Republican Party’s response to President Biden’s speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28, was the subject of a lengthy piece by the Post’s fact-checker, Glenn Kessler.
The article goes on to state the following:
The piece, “Tim Scott often talks about his grandfather and cotton. There’s more to that tale,” examined the “origin stories” of comments the Senator has made about being an ancestor of slaves. Scott has said his grandfather dropped out of elementary school to pick cotton, so the liberal newspaper enlisted its fact-checker to get to the bottom of the claim.
The timing of Kessler’s report was deemed suspicious by some, as it was published just hours after the announcement came out that Scott will be delivering the GOP response to Joe Biden’s congress speech.
In Kessler’s “fact checker” analysis, he promised “there’s more to that tale” of Scott’s family history, but his article ultimately never debunked anything Scott has told.
Kessler noted that Scott has said his grandfather “left school at an early age to pick cotton and never learned to read and write.”
Kessler then pounced on the fact that Scott’s great-great-grandfather, Lawrence Ware, once owned 900 acres in South Carolina. His article dug deep into Scott’s family history, listing his ancestors, their marriages, children, land purchases, education, employment and how they fared during the great depression.
In the end of the hit piece, Kessler admits he can’t give any “Pinocchios” to Scott, but simply scolds him for leaving out some of his family history when he shares his story.
Sen. Tim Scott says he went from “Cotton to Congress in one lifetime,” but his ancestors owned unusually large amounts of land. Fact Checker investigates. https://t.co/HlLTppVTgM
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) April 23, 2021
Scott has shared part of his family history at times. In a 2018 Twitter thread honoring Martin Luther King, Scott shared the following:
He lived through Dr. King’s remarkable rise and personally saw the incredible influence he had on spreading equality. In one generation, our family went from cotton to Congress. #MLK50
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) April 4, 2018
While there is still much work to do, we live in a far different place from the 1960’s and that is something we should celebrate and rejoice. #MLK50
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) April 4, 2018
Many Twitter users are defending Scott and blasting Kessler for his “hit piece” against the Senator.
Michael Jolley wrote, “So were y’all just sitting around at WaPo headquarters and someone said , “I know what we’ll do! We’ll fact check whether or not Tim Scott’s grandpa picked cotton!”
“Fact check: he did pick cotton but it doesn’t count because his dad owned land.”
Fact check: he did pick cotton but it doesn’t count because his dad owned land.
— Michael Jolley (@UTJolley) April 23, 2021
Fayetteville Observer opinion editor Myron Pitts replied, “I’m glad his family was able to hold onto the land because I know it mustn’t have been easy. Many Blacks were swindled out of it or terrorized out of it. I appreciate his story. He is now a Black senator in the first state to secede. Its been a journey.”
I’m glad his family was able to hold onto the land because I know it mustn’t have been easy. Many Blacks were swindled out of it or terrorized out of it. I appreciate his story. He is now a Black senator in the first state to secede. Its been a journey.
— Myron B. Pitts (@FOmyronpitts) April 23, 2021
So his family succeeded despite the odds against them to become independent land owners working their own land and selling the products they produced and somehow you’re trying to hold that against them?
This is why you’re an enemy of the people.
— Robert Bruce (@CircletofGold) April 23, 2021
One person quipped, “Now do Kamala Harris.”
Now do Kamala Harris…
— Dan Lamott (@DanLamott) April 23, 2021
Awe…afraid of my Senator are we?…I’ll be voting for him in the upcoming SC Republican Presidential Primary! @senatorTimScott
— Tony Hamilton (@thamiltonrph) April 23, 2021
I just love it when libs prove that they are the real racists they accuse the rest of being.
— tom henry (@tucsontwitchy) April 23, 2021
Kevin Goldman tweeted, “Perhaps @GlennKesslerWP would like to fact check if black men who were landowners somehow were the immune to racism in the South prior to Jim Crow ? This fact check shows an usual lack of sensitivity to a minority legislator. Must be that annoying R after his name.”
Perhaps @GlennKesslerWP would like to fact check if black men who were landowners somehow were the immune to racism in the South prior to Jim Crow ?
This fact check shows an usual lack of sensitivity to a minority legislator. Must be that annoying R after his name.
— Kevin Goldman (@KevinGoldman10) April 23, 2021
“Can this finally be the nail in the coffin of anyone taking so-called “fact checkers” at their word?” one reader said.
Can this finally be the nail in the coffin of anyone taking so-called “fact checkers” at their word?
— double standard (@dubstandards) April 23, 2021
In response to being chosen to give the GOP response to Biden’s address, Scott tweeted on Thursday, “Honored to have this opportunity. I’m as confident as I’ve ever been in the promise and potential of America and look forward to sharing my vision for our nation with all of you.”
Honored to have this opportunity. I’m as confident as I’ve ever been in the promise and potential of America and look forward to sharing my vision for our nation with all of you. https://t.co/M6Pt8kQEuB
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) April 22, 2021
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