Georgia was at the epicenter of a political firestorm over GOP-backed election reform legislation that was widely characterized by Democrats and the media as “Jim Crow 2.0” aiming to suppress the Black vote in the Peach State. This week’s primaries showed record turnout, exceeding both 2018 e 2020.
Martedì, PolitiFact challenged a tweet made by Georgia’s Republican Attorney General Chris Carr, who blasted Abrams for saying, “I am tired of being told that we are the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live.”
“Our state’s No.1 ranking for business has transformed hundreds of thousands of Georgians’ lives,” Carr reacted on Sunday. “Just like when she supported the #MLB boycott, Stacey Abrams’ reckless & condescending comments continue to harm the state she claims to want to govern.”
“But there’s a problem with what Carr said in his tweet: Abrams did not support Major League Baseball’s boycott of Atlanta for its annual All-Star Game in 2021,” PolitiFact senior correspondent Louis Jacobson pushed back.
Jacobson pointed to remarks Abrams made in a video message from March 2021, before the MLB announced it was moving its All-Star game to Denver, where she said she understood “the passion of those calling for boycotts of Georgia,” cautioning the minority communities she claimed were being impacted by the election reform legislation “are also the most likely to be hurt by potential boycotts of Georgia,” telling critics, “Please do not boycott us and to my fellow Georgians” while urging corporations to take a stand in support of Georgia voters. He also cited a quote Abrams gave the Atlanta Journal-Constitution telling the paper critics shouldn’t rush to boycott Georgia “yet.”
The fact-check also pointed to AJC’s reporting that Abrams “fortemente” urged an MLB senior adviser to keep the All-Star game in Atlanta and a statement she made following the move expressing her disappointment, writing in part, “I am disappointed that the MLB is relocating the All-Star game; tuttavia, I commend the players, owners and league commissioner for speaking out… I respect boycotts, although I don’t want to see Georgia families hurt by lost events and jobs.”
tuttavia, as noted by PolitiFact, Abrams appeared far more supportive of boycotts in an op-ed published in USA Today before the MLB pulled its All-Star game.
“The impassioned response to the racist, classist bill that is now the law of Georgia is to boycott in order to achieve change,” Abrams originally wrote. “Events hosted by major league baseball, world class soccer, college sports and dozens of Hollywood films hang in the balance. Allo stesso tempo, activists urge Georgians to swear off of hometown products to express our outrage. Until we hear clear, unequivocal statements that show Georgia-based companies get what’s at stake, I can’t argue with an individual’s choice to opt for their competition.”
Ha continuato, “tuttavia, one lesson of boycotts is that the pain of deprivation must be shared to be sustainable. Altrimenti, those least resilient bear the brunt of these actions; and in the aftermath, they struggle to access the victory. And boycotts are complicated affairs that require a long-term commitment to action. I have no doubt that voters of color, particularly Black voters, are willing to endure the hardships of boycotts. But I don’t think that’s necessary — yet… I ask you to bring your business to Georgia and, if you’re already here, stay and fight. Stay and vote.”
USA Today was later caught allowing Abrams to stealth-edit her op-ed after Atlanta lost the All-Star game in order to water down her support for boycotts.
“The impassioned (and understandable) response to the racist, classist bill that is now the law of Georgia is to boycott in order to achieve change. Events that can bring millions of dollars to struggling families hang in the balance. Major League Baseball pulled both its All-Star Game and its draft from Georgia, which could cost our state nearly $ 100 million in lost revenue,” Abrams’ revisions read. “Rather than accept responsibility for their craven actions, Republican leaders blame me and others who have championed voting rights (and actually read the bill). Their faux outrage is designed to hide the fact that they prioritized making it harder for people of color to vote over the economic well-being of all Georgians. To add to the injury, the failed former president is now calling for cancellation of baseball as the national pastime.”
“Boycotts invariably also cost jobs. To be sustainable, the pain of deprivation must be shared rather than borne by those who are least resilient… I have no doubt that voters of color, particularly Black voters, are willing to endure the hardships of boycotts. But such monetary loss is unlikely to affect the stubborn, frightened Republicans who see voter suppression as their only way to win. Money isn’t quite as seductive as political power to these putative leaders. “
Her revised op-ed adds, “Instead of a boycott, I strongly urge other events and productions to do business in Georgia and speak out against our law and similar proposals in other states.”
Jacobson insisted Abram’s original op-ed “doesn’t call for a boycott” e quello “the updated version makes essentially the same arguments against a boycott as the initial version did,” la scrittura, “her stance on a boycott was not notably different.”
“Carr said that Abrams ‘supported the MLB boycott.’ Both before and after the league’s boycott, Abrams threw cold water on the idea, saying in a Twitter video, ‘To our friends across the country please do not boycott us,'” Jacobson wrote. “She echoed those comments to the leading newspaper in Atlanta and in an op-ed in USA Today. She also personally lobbied Major League Baseball not to take that step before the boycott was announced. We rate the statement False.”
In particolare, Jacobson offered a “hat tip” for prompting the fact-check to Georgia-based Substack writer Niles Francis, an open supporter of Abrams and Georgia Democrats according to a Substack article outlining his “endorsements” ahead of the midterms.
Critics railed against PolitiFact, calling the fact-check “bad propaganda.”
“It’s wild the lengths that journos go to try and erase and coverup Dem mistakes Dude we can Google you know that right?” Ruthless podcast co-host Comfortably Smug reacted.
“She literally wrote ‘boycotts work’ in a major op-Ed then edited it to cover up after the boycott actually happened. I get that PolitiFact serves a political purpose for the left but you gotta put in a little more effort than this,” GOP strategist Matt Whitlock wrote.
“‘She didn’t support it, she commended it’ is not a fact check, it’s running interference,” The Blaze managing editor Leon Wolf tweeted.
“Politifact is one of the major reasons ppl find fact checking to be the complete f—ing joke that it is,” The Habibi Bros. podcast co-host Mujahed Kobbe wrote.