Mother Jones Is Lying About Lying

Here’s my email to Mother Jones:



Your article about the citizenship question says:

The White House Is Lying About the Census

Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the citizenship question has been on nearly every census since 1965. It hasn’t been asked since 1950


However, I fear it’s you that is lying. Here are questions 12 – 14 from the 2000 Census, conducted under President Bill Clinton:

census question 2000.png

I assume that you will be issuing a public apology to the White House for libeling them …



Mother Jones, to their credit, has replied to my email, and I have answered them back.


To: Willis Eschenbach

Hi, Willis — That’s the long form version of the census, which only a limited number of people respond to, not the version everyone fills out. ( ) Thanks for reading though!

Tim Murphy
Senior reporter

Mother Jones


To: Tim Murphy

Oh, please, enough of the pedantry. It’s simple. Was the question asked in the 2000 census or not?

Absolutely it was.
To claim otherwise is total BS, because in fact it was asked during all of the censuses since 1955.
And to accuse the White House of lying based on that bogus interpretation reveals that you are not a journalist, you are an activist masquerading as a journalist.
Color me unimpressed with your continued attempt to misrepresent the truth …

Well, the fun continues. Here’s the response from Tim Murphy to my email above, in its entirety:

To: Willis Eschenbach
Thanks for reading!
To which I responded:
To: Tim Murphy
And thanks to you for dodging the main issue, which was that you were lying … and you wonder why people voted for Trump?
Medico,cura te ipsum!

Is this fun, or what?

25 thoughts on “Mother Jones Is Lying About Lying

  1. Willis: “I assume that you will be issuing a public apology to the White House for libeling them …”

    It was worth a shot. Someone has to call them on their B.S.

    Nowadays, it is apparent to those who can see and think for themselves that the YSM (Yellow Stream Media) often just Makes Stuff Up. But I’m feeling charitable this morning so I’ll also point out that some of the Stuff published in the YSM is because jurinalists (Swedish pronunciation) are incompetent and are not intentionally spewing propaganda.

    A competent journalist would have taken the time to verify the last time the Citizenship question was explicitly asked. How long did it take you to find the 2000 Census example, Willis; 10 minutes, 1/2 hour, 1 hour?

    P.S. I have always declared myself to be a native American, My parents were born in America. I was born in America. How can I, in all good conscience, claim to be native to any other country on Earth besides America? I can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Prior census questionnaires are available at

    Citizenship was asked on 2000 long form (as you wrote), but not the short form.
    Citizenship was asked as Question 9 on the 1990 census. It’s not clear from what is posted as to whether this was only asked for the first two persons in the household, or everyone.
    Citizenship was asked as Question 12 on the 1980 long form, but not the short form.
    Citizenship was asked as Question 16 on the 1970 “5%” form.
    Citizenship was not asked in 1960.

    Tamara Keith at NPR concludes that a citizenship question hasn’t been asked *of everyone* since 1950.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maybe I’m not thinking this through very carefully, but it boggles my mind that anyone would feel that asking people about their country of birth and their citizenship in a census is a problem.

    Irrespective of how much sympathy I might feel for an honest, hardworking person and his/ her family who came into the US illegally, and no matter how much our government may have been complicit in allowing that illegal entry or in allowing such individuals and families to stay here unimpeded, there is no way to sort out the immigration mess we have without finding out who’s here legally and who is not.

    Then we can have the debate about how to handle this problem and make some decisions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh… and what’s up with the 1965 date?!? The census is taken on decades, so there is 1960, ’70, ’80 etc.

    Of course it neither was nor wasn’t asked in 1965. Doh!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There is an important comstitutional reason for counting citizens different than noncitizens in the decennial census required by article 1 section 2.3. Amendment 14 section 2 describes the ‘new way’ (post slavery abolished by amendment 13) that House representatives are apportioned to states: by relative number of male citizens over 21, provided each state must have at least one representative. Modified by 19 (sufferage—women citizens over 21 vote and count in A14 apportionment), and 26 (lowers citizen voting age to 18). California has a large proportion of noncitizens, some legal, most not. Just counting people over 18 means California would be apportioned too many representitives, and flyover country too few. Why Cal dems are suing Trump on this. IF This gets to SCOTUS its going to be another easy decision in Trumps favor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There isn’t. I did some quick research at the census bureau website. The long form is used for 1 in six households. The idea is that provides enough information to statistically adjust long plus short form for things like congressional apportionment. Dunno if Trumps intent is to add citizenship to short form also, or just continue the past long form practice. Apparently up to 1950, citizenship was a short form question in order to better fulfill the constitutionally mandated decadal congressional apportionment of representatives among the states.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. By the way, for those who claim that the representation is supposed to cover everybody, no matter their citizenship status, I’ll point out the original 3/5 compromise in the Constitution (and all the discussions around it at the time), that is a very clear indication that it was not a ‘all warm bodies are equal’ count, but rather a count of the citizens to allocate their representation.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mother “Jones” sounds like an alias. What’s her real name?

    I recently had a brief email exchange with a local “journalist” about her column on sea level rise. She started off with the wild statement that the waters could rise nine feet by the end of the century. No attribution. No explanation that it was the high end of a discredited model projection. Just alarmism. Her reply when I called her on it? NOAA said so !

    Sometimes I think they’re too dumb to be lying.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Willis? The last Census form I filled out asked about citizenship of each person in the household. I keep pointing this out to people and they keep going whaaaaa!!!!! Also, large sections of Census form I Xed out, never got a call from Big Brother about not completing their questionnaire.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t know why there is even a short form in the first place… In Australia there is one form (well, we tried electronic v paper last census – that was fun until someone mistook lots of traffic for a denial of service attack and took the site down)… And the stats of pretty much all of it is available on an interactive map – great for all sorts of business, government and criminal activities (but I repeat myself).

    But, back to the question at hand. Even the USA 2000 short-form had the question “Is person x Spanish/Hispanic/Latino”, with the options “No”, “Yes, Puerto Rican”, “Yes, Mexican, Mexican Am, Chicano”, “Yes, cuban”, and “Yes, other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino – please specify”…. Now, how is someone living in a Spanish community, but born in the USA meant to answer that? If they say no, are they ashamed of their heritage? If they say yes, do they distance themselves from the country of their birth? How stupid and divisive is that? What’s wrong with the facts? Where were your parents born, where were you born, if not born in the USA; are you a citizen, and/or how long have you been a resident of the USA?

    And the next question “What is person x’s race?”… what do you pick? Apparently, it’s whichever one you identify with…. again, based on what? Your sense of rhythm and which cultural style of music you are drawn to? Is it just me that finds it offensive? At best it’s a useless question as it tells you nothing other than which tribe they hang with… you might as well ask their school classification; “Nerd”, “Jock”, “Bully”, etc….. What ever happened to everyone brashly saying “I’m an American Jack!”… Why is the government promoting the idea that groups of USA citizens are different, and need to be put into their groups? Looking at the form, it seems that the Spanish/Hispanic/Latino group are more important (or need special monitoring?), as they got their own question 7, while the rest of you were dumped into question 8 on the short form. Surely someone other than me is put out by that?

    I have more to complain about treating households differently, asking questions that are divisive, difficult to answer “correctly” (if you care about lawfully answering the questions), than a simple question of where were you born. Having a mathematical brain I favor questions with a factual answer, plain and simple.

    Of course being a law abiding citizen of the country I was born in, I have different concerns than those who were or are not. And no, I obviously don’t understand their fears, reasons, or passions, nor could I guess what they would do with a form asking such questions. But isn’t the government supposed to be there for law abiding citizens?

    My best wishes and hopes to all who call the great USA their home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would agree – not fun, in any sense of the word that I would normally use it. But there are other measures to use. Important? Tedious? Cathartic?

      It’s obvious to anyone who cares, that Mother Jones was misrepresenting things, and that the citizen question WAS a part of the census for a long time (on the long form). And from this misrepresentation Mother Jones were able to project outrage, and disparage their duly elected President. But any objection to their shaky basis for outrage is seen as, what, nit-picking, or worse? When was The Truth so discarded and discredited like this, that He no longer matters?


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