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Jan 08, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

Called out for its fake news reporting, POLITICO covers it up

Here’s the correction that POLITICO could have issued but didn’t.

“CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this article, the reporter made stuff up that is patently untrue and presented it as fact. Jewish people are not fleeing persecution in Hungary. We edited the text to accurately reflect the facts and issued an apology.”

In its Sunday magazine this week, which it boasts as “hard-hitting reporting,” the US edition of POLITICO published “How Trump Created a New Global Capital of Exiles.”

The article criticizes the US administration’s immigration policy, claiming that it’s “not just Mexicans: New U.S. immigration policies are stranding the world on America’s southern border.”

In this lengthy dispatch from Tijuana about all of those among the “world on America’s southern border,” a reporter named Jack Herrera made this claim:

“Jewish people [are] fleeing persecution in Hungary” and that “thousands" of them have shown up at the southern border of the US.

That’s outrageous and patently false.

On Twitter, I asked the reporter and POLITICO several times to back up the claim. Then waited, and waited. Nothing.

Yesterday, more than two days after the fact, the POLITICO editor got back to us promising to “fix the language and add a note to the piece.”

Here’s what they issued:

"CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article inaccurately implied that thousands of Hungarians are arriving at the southern U.S. border. It has been updated accordingly.”

Catch that cynical sleight of hand?

The earlier version clearly reported “Hungarian Jewish people fleeing persecution”. Jewish people fleeing persecution in Hungary. And that thousands of them have arrived on the US southern border. It didn’t “imply”. It asserted that as fact.

The updated version still claims that Hungarians are among the thousands of Eastern Europeans who have fled to the US southern border. I challenge the reporter to support that claim.

POLITICO published something about Hungary that was patently untrue. When I called them on it and asked for a chance to reply, they ignored my request and attempted to cover it up with a disingenuous “correction”.

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