Washington Post Fact Checks Fred Thompson, Two Weeks After MoJoBlog Did the Same

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


A while back on this blog, I pointed out the ridiculousness of this statement by Fred Thompson: “Our people have shed more blood for the liberty and freedom of other peoples in this country than all the other countries put together.” I cited some figures on American dead in various wars, then pointed out that among other massive casualty figures, tens of millions of Russians died in WWII. That dwarfs anything America has experienced. Not to belittle the sacrifices our country has paid, but Thompson’s statement was wayyy off base.

As a result, the comments section lit up. The highlights:

– “Stein’s unambiguous dislike for the Tennessean has cluttered his mind.”

– “Johnathan [sic] Stein hearts Stalin.”

– “Mr. Stein is- and has always been- free to relocate to any of the few remaining Stalinist ‘paradises’ left on Earth.”

Well, I’m still here. And it turns out that, empowered by the shouting of our commentors, Fred Thompson decided to ignore my debunking and continued using the statement in his campaign. And so, the new truth-rooting wing of the Washington Post, called Fact Checker, had to take Thompson to task.

It’s conclusion?

While heavy, U.S. military casualties are still relatively low in comparison to the military casualties of its World War II and World War I allies. In World War II alone, the Soviet Union suffered at least eight million military deaths, or ten times the number of U.S. deaths in all wars combined….

Even if we exclude the Soviet Union from the calculation, U.S. military deaths in all wars combined remain lower than those of the British Commonwealth (“a combination of nations,” in Thompson’s phrase) in World War I and World War II.

So please, folks, click over to the Post and tell them to move to the Stalinist ‘paradises.’ I don’t deserve your scorn.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest