Something Else PolitifactNC Got Wrong In Their Latest HB2 Fact Check

Facts, Roy Cooper
Just the facts, please.

A.P. Dillon took a hickory switch to PolitifactNC this morning over their specious fact check of Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s reaction to Gov. Cooper’s HB2 repeal/compromise idea. It’s a must-read, so if you haven’t already, just do it. ;)

In keeping with the theme of correcting the errors of PolitifactNC (aka the Raleigh News and Observer), I wanted to bring attention to several other “facts” from their piece that were not just incorrect but “Pants on Fire” wrong. Let’s take a look:

HB2 said people can only use the bathrooms of their birth gender (not their gender identity), and it banned cities and counties around North Carolina from creating rules related to bathroom access …

No, no, no. This is an assertion about HB2 that numerous media outlets both national and local have repeatedly gotten wrong over the last year. And when asked to correct it, the sound you usually hear from them is crickets.

HB2 allows private businesses to set their own policies as it relates to bathrooms and the like. As for government buildings, it allows for special accommodations for such facilities to be made provided they are “single-stall”-type facilities like unisex restrooms that only one person at a time can use.

I fact checked the N&O’s Colin Campbell (a frequent reporter on the HB2 beat) on this issue of public school restrooms last April but received no response, and his original tweet is still there:

Continuing on:

We previously found that there’s no real history of safety problems associated with transgender-friendly bathroom rules. However, Forest’s claim doubled down on such concerns.

Not only was PolitiFactNC’sΒ fact check on safety issues dangerously misleading and hypocritical, but it was also wrong. Because it only took into account cities or states with “trans-friendly” laws on the books, not private businesses who also had such policies in place in their establishments, like Target. As I wrote last year:

A simple Google search provides dozens of cases of Peeping Toms arrested at Target stores across the country for taking pictures and/or videos of women and children in various states of undress in Target’s fitting rooms and bathrooms.

See? It does happen. Now Target being a private business certainly should have the right to set that policy, but other businesses should have the right not to, especially if their customers have expressed valid concerns. Charlotte’s ordinance didn’t allow that.

TheΒ typical response from N&O/CO/PolitifactNC to the numerous stories like those at that link usually is, like it was in their April 2016 fact check, “Well, there are already laws against the books against what allegedly happened.” That is not the point.

The point is that ordinances like Charlotte’s would have made it all the easier for predators to get access because it made it so that businesses would be hesitant to question someone suspicious walking into a bathroom or fitting room-type facility because you would no longer have been able to “discriminate” at these types of facilities based on sex. Not just for transgenders, but for males who didn’t even bother to try and disguise themselves:

Beyond safety and privacy concerns is the simple fact that many women simply do not feel comfortable going to the bathroom, changing, or showering when men are present – whether they happen to be those ‘identifying’ as women or men outright. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes my mother uncomfortable. It makes many other women across the country uneasy. Those uneasy feelings have nothing to do with “bigotry” or “homophobia.” A woman simply doesn’t want to stand naked or semi-naked next to a man other than her significant other or husband (stall separator or not). This is not rocket-science, folks.

Oh wait – I almost forgot: The N&O and CO are the papers whose editors told women they simply needed to get over their discomfort of naked men in locker rooms for the sake of progress or something:

I’m not sure which is worse: Them telling women to simply get over their uneasiness in the bathroom or their journos and fact checkers repeating falsehoods about HB2 unimpeded.