NBC's 'Today' Touted Wendy Davis's Fake Bio Days Before It Was Debunked
by Warner Todd Huston 21 Jan 2014, 12:25 PM PDT
The Dallas Morning News recently revealed that Texas Democrat Wendy Davis "blurred" the facts about her dramatic personal biography—but the truth came too late for NBC's Today show, which fell for Davis' embellishments hook, line, and sinker.
The Texas Democrat and candidate for the Democrat nomination for governor Wendy Davis "blurred" key parts of her personal life story—a tale that has served as the centerpiece for her fundraising efforts and the basis for her national profile as an up-and-coming Democrat star.
On January 15, Today touted Davis as a an American everywoman who overcame the same "personal and financial challenges that many women in America face." Davis was a woman who was transformed from "a divorced, teenage mom into a rising political star."
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NBC played up Davis' entire narrative, saying, "Poor and pregnant, Davis got married and had a baby at 18. By 19, she was getting divorced and living in a mobile home park. Davis said those early struggles have shaped everything in her political and personal life."
As the Dallas paper discovered, Davis' claim that she was a "single teen mom" is so much hokum. It turns out Davis was divorced at 21, not 19, and her time in a trailer park lasted only a few months. According to an interactive timeline, Davis did not file for divorce until December 1983, well after her 20th birthday.
It appears that NBC simply took Davis' claims at face value and made no further efforts to investigate the story for the truth. The segment's fawning production came only days before the Dallas Morning News went to print with its fact check of Davis's claims.
Today's producers, then, committed the same sin which made left-wing partisans call for heads to roll at CBS News—running a story without double-checking a source's claims. As the Texas paper made the opposite call around the same time, the glowing profile of Davis serves as yet another mark on NBC News's credibility.