Washington Times Repeats 43’s 44% Myth

By Mark Krikorian on March 5, 2009

David Sands’ piece in Monday’s Washington Times entitled “Hispanics Wary of Future in GOP” has this nut graf:

Leading Hispanic Republican strategists say the natural attraction the party should enjoy with churchgoing, socially conservative Latino voters is being overwhelmed by a single issue: the party’s hard-line stance on illegal immigration.

There’s a lot to complain about in this story, from it’s being a glorified press release for an unbalanced panel at CPAC last week, to the lack of skeptical voices, other than one 14-word quote from Heather Mac Donald, an important cultural critic but hardly an electoral analyst.

But under the category of “malpractice,” there’s one line that jumps out at you:

President Bush received 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, compared with Sen. John Kerry’s 53 percent — a record showing for a Republican candidate.

What’s worse, the story’s lede refers to Bush’s 2004 showing as “nearly half of the Hispanic vote.” These are not quotations but rather assertions of fact by the reporter.

And they are simply false.

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