Daily review: laurels and darts
As the 2012 presidential election approaches and candidates continue down the campaign trail, it’s important that voters know exactly what’s fact and what’s fiction. So when politifact.com, a project that fact-checks statements by politicians, mischaracterized a statement from President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, it’s unsurprising that the organization has since received criticism. During his speech, the president described both the damage done to the economy and the job increases that followed. Politifact took issue with this, claiming that he “went too far when he implicitly credited his administration policies” for the growth. However, critics argued that he was simply stating the facts and not, in fact, crediting the successes to his administration. The organization has since changed their ruling on the truthfulness of the quote. We give Politifact a dart for inaccurately assessing the statement.
Following the debut of George Lucas’ film “Red Tails,” the University saluted its own Tuskegee Airman. William Neal Brown, who went on to become one of the first African-American faculty members at the University, first served during World War II with the famous airmen who are featured in Lucas’ film. Serving from 1940 to 1946, the Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States, flying missions as bomber escorts in Europe and painting the tails of their aircraft red — the origination of the name “Red Tails.” The pilots were known for overcoming racial discrimination during a time when much of the country was segregated. Before his death, Brown was among the 300 surveying Tuskegee Airmen who attended Obama’s 2009 inauguration. We give Brown and his fellow airmen a laurel.