According to a CNN survey from 2010, 75% of Americans say they get their news from emails or social media posts. That percentage has doubtless risen in the years since with the ascendancy of Twitter and Facebook. If you’re wondering how lamentable that state of affairs is, I have two words for you: Katy Tur.
Tur, who anchors a weekday politics program on MSNBC, was catapulted to fame in 2016 after then-candidate Donald Trump singled her out for telling lies. But lying isn’t Tur’s biggest problem. Tur, to be blunt, is clueless. And not only about politics
In 2018, for example, she took to Twitter to voice her disdain for Ohioans who had shared their plans for for the $1,000 bonuses, increased wages, and lowered tax burden they would receive thanks to the Trump tax overhaul.
Tur probably thinks of this as a “factcheck,” but it’s actually a reality check about what seems to be her wild ignorance of common American household expenses. For one thing, almost nobody pays the full cost of the medical care necessary during pregnancy and birth. That’s why we commoners pay for insurance on top of shelling out the taxes to cover the Medicaid bills of half the nation’s births. Thanks to Obamacare forcing us all to pay for care we don’t want or need, health deductibles and premiums have exploded. Yet a thousand bucks still is likely to comprise a hefty portion of the birth bill a family actually ends up paying.
But Tur was just getting warmed up. As Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner reports:
In February 2019, she claimed George Washington was a “native son of New York.” Washington was a Virginian.
In July 2018, Tur claimed the “the Republican Party decided not to arm Ukraine,” forgetting or ignoring the fact that the Trump administration had signed off on a massive sale of defensive weapons to arm Ukraine against Russian-backed separatists.
But one of her most monumental gaffes came last Friday. Her guest was Philip Bump, the Washington Post’s national correspondent whose main focus is the numbers behind politics. Tur asked whether gerrymandering could be used to break up Republican control of the U.S. Senate. Bump politely pointed out that “Gerrymandering’s not going to do anything because in the Senate, we’re talking about states. You can’t gerrymander states.”
As Adams observes:
That a political journalist would not know this is absurd. That the anchor of a politics news show would not know this is something far beyond absurd. I am not sure if there is even a word for it.
Returning to the poll I noted at the outset, it’s worth pondering how many of Katy Tur’s 691,ooo followers on Twitter get their “news” from her?
Despite the yawning chasms in her knowledge of a subject she pontificates on, Tur has found time to take shots the president’s intelligence on Twitter:
In a strikingly ignorant tweet, Trump gets almost everything about California wildfires wrong – Los Angeles Times https://t.co/mhYy4BitfT
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) August 7, 2018
If there’s an irony in all of this, it resides in the fact that Democrats continue to view themselves as “the party of intellect.” Don’t expect to see CNN’s Don Lemon and pals yukking it up any time soon over what a boob Tur is.