The Washington Post has evaluated North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s statements in the video accompanying last week’s executive order and given him “Three Pinocchios.” They write:
By saying he is “taking action to affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality” through his executive order, McCrory creates the illusion that there will be more changes than he can actually deliver as governor.
But an executive order can’t undo state law. When you start actually digging in to the executive order, the major provisions of HB2 remain untouched. He simply regurgitates the rights of businesses that already were in the law, which were never really disputed in the feedback from corporations and the public. He expanded state employees’ discrimination protections to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. Critics acknowledged that was a good step, but it’s not yet clear whether he has legal authority to do so.
The feedback — which McCrory attributes to misinformation in the media — has been centered on the bathroom provision and excluding gender identity and sexual orientation in anti-discrimination policies. McCrory says he is responding to that feedback through his executive order. But his executive order does nothing to address those two areas (at least not without a legal battle for state employees).
We wavered between Two and Three Pinocchios. McCrory bemoans the “misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion … selective outrage and hypocrisy,” but his own vague language is misleading, which earns him at least Two Pinocchios. But during a time when tensions and emotions run high, the state’s chief executive has the duty to set the record straight for his constituency. He said the executive order was a reaction to the strong feedback — as if it were a resolution. But it’s not, and the mendacity tips his rating to Three Pinocchios. We wish we could give Three Fig Leaves — which is what this announcement is — but alas, will stick to Pinocchios.