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By Amber Randall
Republican Rep. Jodey Arrington blasted The Washington Post Thursday for grossly misrepresenting comments he made about poor people and the Bible in a congressional hearing regarding government welfare programs.
“It was ridiculous,” Arrington said in an appearance on Fox News. “It was such a blatant mischaracterization of what I said. Anybody that would watch that video or read my remarks knows that that was a misrepresentation. I couldn’t believe that a news organization as reputable as The Washington Post would allow such reckless and irresponsible journalism.”
The Washington Post article was originally published under the headline “GOP lawmaker: The bible says the unemployed ‘shall not eat.’” The article wrongly claimed that Arrington cited the Bible to attack poor people, and initially did not include a single direct quote from Arrington.
The Washington Post later reworked the entire article to reflect what Arrington actually said, although a basic copy editing mistake regarding the Bible verse citation (2 Thessalonians 3:10 is wrongly cited as 2 Thessalonians 3-10) remains. While Arrington did cite the verse in the hearing, which states those who do not work should not eat, the Washington Post article wrongly asserted he was using it to justify taking food away from poor people.
“I think that every American, Republican or Democrat, wants to help the neediest among us. And I think it’s a reasonable expectation that we have work requirements,” Arrington said during his remarks.
According to Arrington, WaPo has not tried to contact him since they published the article.
“I put a statement out to correct the record,” he said, “but, if I chased down every fake news story in this town, I’d need to get another full-time job.”