When George W. Bush got a fact wrong, our friends in the legacy media highlighted it as a sign of his stupidity. If Barack Obama makes a mistake, well, if they get around to covering it, they’ll just see it as a sign of human imperfection.
Last night, before bed, I read that, in his speech yesterday offering up anecdotes from American history for “examples of ignorant incredulousness“, the Democrat, well, got his facts wrong about one of his Republican predecessors, claiming that “Rutherford B. Hayes couldn’t understand why anyone would want a telephone”. But, Nan Card Nan Card, curator of manuscripts at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Ohio, corrected Mr. Hayes’s successor:
“He really was the opposite,” she said. “He had the first telephone in the White House. He also had the first typewriter in the White House. Thomas Edison came to the White House as well and displayed the phonograph. Photographing people who came to the White House and visited at dinners and receptions was also very important to him.”
While often cited, Card said Obama’s cited quote had never been confirmed by contemporary sources and is likely apocryphal. A contemporary newspaper account of his first experience with telephone in 1877 from the Providence Journal records a smiling Hayes repeatedly responding to the voice on the other line with the phrase, “That is wonderful.” You can read the full story here.
By the time I woke up this morning, conservative bloggers were all over the story. Steven Hayward offered an image of the former president and linked the page where I found the above images.
Glenn linked a Washington Post fact-checker scolding the president, “It’s bad enough for one president to knock another one for not being on Mt. Rushmore, but it’s particularly egregious to do so based on incorrect information.”
Mr. President, in the age of all this new technology, when it’s easy for your critics to check your facts and publicize your errors, don’t you think your speechwriters could do a little fact-checking?