Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro acted like he was auditioning for a job in the Trump administration in a March 27 post, devoted as he was to pushing a Trump talking point:
ABC and NBC pushed a major piece of false information in regards to the history of such citizenship questions on the census. Both asserted that such a question had not been asked since 1950. “For the first time in more than 60 years, the census will now ask people whether they are American citizens,” ABC anchor David Muir wrongly declared.
In reality, the last time a question about citizenship was asked on the census was back in 2000. According to the long-form questionnaire from that year, question 13 asked: “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” The question is repeated six times, once for each possible person in the household. The question was also asked in 1990 and 1980. All of this information was easily researchable on the Census Bureau’s website.
In fact, Fondacaro is on the wrong side of the facts here. An actual news outlet unravels the truth:
[T]he census itself has not asked a citizenship question since 1950. Third, the American Community Survey included a citizenship question in 2010, although it was not in the census itself.
Let’s take a quick stroll through the history. In 1950, the decennial census form asked respondents to enter their birthplace and whether they were naturalized.
In 1960, the birthplace question appeared again — but not the naturalization question.
In 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000, the census sent households a separate, long-form survey that included a citizenship question. This was in addition to the standard questionnaire, but only a fraction of U.S. households would receive it, about one out of every six.
So bogus is the Trump White House's take -- and, thus, Fondacaro's take -- on the citizenship question that his MRC colleague and CNSNews.com reporter Melanie Arter, herself seeming to audition for a Trump White House job in her dedication to pro-White House stenography, felt the need to set the record straight:
To be accurate, between 1970 and 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau used two questionnaires. Most households received a short-form questionnaire asking a minimum number of questions that did not include citizenship. But a sample of households received a long-form questionnaire in 1970, '80, '90, and 2000 that did include questions about "naturalization" or citizenship. The 2010 Census used just one short-form questionnaire consisting of ten questions -- none about citizenship. But since 2000, the Census Bureau has conducted an annual, national, ongoing "American Community Survey," which does ask about citizenship.
Will Fondacaro correct his own misleading post? Given that he has yet to tell the MRC's readers that the fake-news claim he parroted that CNN tried to script questions in a town hall forum following the Parkland massacre has been completely discredited, we have our doubts.