Good Work: Adding John Lewis’ Record To Our Stories

We’ve added proper context to our stories about the back-and-forth between Rep. John Lewis and President-elect Donald Trump.

Trump tweeted that Lewis is “all talk … no action.” We stated the facts about Lewis:

- “Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders and a top lieutenant of King’s, helping organize the March on Washington in 1963 and marching with King across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in 1965, where his skull was fractured.” (Jessica Taylor on NPR.org/politics.)

- “Lewis has spent his life working for civil rights and suffered a skull fracture durin a march in Selma, Ala., more than 50 years ago.” (Newscast introduction to a Jessica Taylor spot.)

- “After Lewis had challenged the legitimacy of his election, Trump took to Twitter, calling Lewis all talk and no action. Of course Lewis still bears the scars of his action as a leader of the Selma voting rights campaign and one of those who helped lead the march on Washington where King made his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.” (Scott Horsley on All Things Considered.)

- “Lewis is a civil rights hero.” (Ari Shapiro on All Things Considered.)

- Trump’s comments had “a lot of things in [them] that just aren’t true both about [Lewis'] district and about John Lewis. … His district, as Tam is alluding to, has a higher percentage of people who are college graduates. You have Georgia Tech, Morehouse College, Coca-Cola. This is Atlanta. Like, this isn’t some, you know, crime-infested backwater in the way that Donald Trump wants to kind of bill it.” (Tamara Keith and Domenico Montanaro on All Things Considered.)

As we’ve said before:

- “When There’s No Evidence To Support A Claim, We Should Say That.”

- “Simply Setting Things Straight” is part of our job.

Thanks.

Update: If the issue of whether this will be the first inauguration Lewis has boycotted comes up, be sure to note it won’t be (even though that’s what he told Chuck Todd). Lewis did not attend George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/john-lewis-to-skip-inauguration-for-second-time-in-congressional-career/

(“Memmos;” Jan. 17, 2017)

January 17, 2017

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