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Beryl Lieff Benderly

Fact Checker Awards President Obama One Pinocchio for Comments to Mrs. Wedel

Earlier in the month, we reported on President Obama’s online conversation with Jennifer Wedel, the wife of an unemployed engineer.  The president expressed surprise at Wedel’s 3-year effort to find work because, he said, industrial leaders have told him “they don’t have enough highly skilled engineers.”

We have belatedly learned that the Washington Post‘s “Fact Checker” column has examined the president’s claims about the employment situation in engineering and given him One Pinocchio for his comments to Mrs. Wedel.  The Post‘s Pinocchio Scale ranges from one Pinocchio for “Some shading of the facts.  Selective telling of the truth.  Some omissions and exaggerations, but no outright falsehoods.” The Post awards four Pinocchios for “whoppers.”

The employment outlook in the semiconductor industry, where Mr. Wedel worked, looks “bleak heading into 2020, and the president should have known that,”  the Fact Checker writes.  The president earned his Pinocchio “for suggesting that demand remains high for engineers in high-tech industries.  He can’t gloss over this area of unemployment.”