That’s a Pretty Big Screw-Up, American Thinker

(Update: Moran responded.)

Rick Moran of The American Thinker:

The president jumps into the Trayvon Martin controversy without all the facts being known, essentially calling for the shooter to be arrested and convicted, and yet it is GOP cadidates [sic] criticizing the president who are “reprehensible” according to Obama advisor David Plouffe?

The use of “essentially” here is pretty cute, because it means that we’re not allowed to take literally whatever claim follows it. But this is still a pretty recklessly inaccurate thing to say, especially in the very first sentence of a blog post.

Here’s Obama’s statement. Show me where he calls for—or, um, “essentially” calls for‐George Zimmerman to be arrested and convicted:

Well, I’m the head of the executive branch, and the attorney general reports to me, so I’ve got to be careful about my statements to make sure that we’re not impairing any investigation that’s taking place right now.

But obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids. And I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.

So I’m glad that not only is the Justice Department looking into it, I understand now that the governor of the state of Florida has formed a task force to investigate what’s taking place. I think all of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means that examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident.

But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

I’m curious as to whether Moran will correct his post, point to the part of Obama’s statement where he comes anywhere close to (essentially) calling for Zimmerman’s arrest, or hide behind a slippery word.

My money’s on Option 3, which is too bad because Moran is essentially lying here.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.