When trying to publicly shame just about anyone, it’s a good idea to fact check the premise of a statement. That’s one of the basic lessons one learns in the very first class in journalism.
Wajahat Ali of the New York Times apparently was absent that day. On Tuesday, after “comedian” Jon Stewart made an impassioned plea to a Congressional committee to fund a 9-11 Victims Compensation Fund in perpetuity, Ali sent out a tweet that targeted Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas who lost an eye while serving overseas.
“Anytime a Republican says they are ‘patriots’ ask them if they voted to fund the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. You know who’s for it? Ilhan Omar. You know who hasn’t sponsored it? Dan Crenshaw,” …
“I hope you do the right thing. If not, why aren’t you?”
The tweet has since been deleted. Of course, Crenshaw’s follow up post, which included an image of an x-ray of his skull showing his injury, may have something to do with that.
Hey “journalist,” maybe you should check your facts. I am a co-sponsor. Nice try though.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) June 11, 2019
And the New York Times front office wonders why President Donald Trump calls them “fake news” on a regular basis.
Ali later deleted the tweet and offered Crenshaw an apology.
“I deleted [the tweet because] Dan Crenshaw supported the Fund in May after being a holdout. Apologies to him for the tweet,” Ali wrote. “I have no problem admitting it & correcting the record with facts.”
As for the 9-11 Victims Compensation Fund, it is funded through 2020. However, the sheer number of injury claims from 22,000 people is proving to be expensive to finance, hence the hesitation to finance the bills.
Stewart has seen funding for these victims get held up before and he’s worried it will happen again. Congress didn’t pass the bill on the first try but four years ago allotted $7.4 billion to last through 2020. But there were so many claims — from 22,000 people who got sick after serving at ground zero — that the money has almost run out and earlier this year payouts started getting slashed in half.