Now in your inbox: Political misinformation


By Maggie Astor, The New York Times Company

A few weeks ago, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, falsely claimed that the centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, a $1.75 trillion bill to battle climate change and extend the nation’s social safety net, would include “Medicare for All.”

It doesn’t and never has. But few noticed Crenshaw’s lie because he didn’t say it on Facebook or on Fox News. Instead, he sent the false message directly to the inboxes of his constituents and supporters in a fundraising email.

Lawmakers’ statements on social media and cable news are now routinely fact-checked and scrutinized. But email — one of the most powerful communication tools available to politicians, reaching up to hundreds of thousands of people — teems with unfounded claims and largely escapes notice.

The New York Times signed up in August for the campaign lists of…

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