Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers
Ahhh, the Fact-Checkers. Those unseen, unknown, self-proclaimed arbiters of truth. Arriving on the scene over a decade ago, fact-checkers have increasingly graced us with their presence in mainstream media, entertainment, academia and social media. Their claim to fame is their commitment to verifying factual claims without any hint of bias.
Appearance of Neutrality
Initially, the fact-checkers strained to maintain an appearance of neutrality. That has since given way to blatant displays of partisanship, as they assist in the take-down of those on one side (namely, the conservative side) of the political spectrum. Fact-checkers have played a substantial role in delegitimizing, censoring, demonetizing, de-platforming and canceling all those—including powerful influencers—who dare to disagree with the approved narrative (which has taken a rather abrupt, hard-left turn as of late).
Fact-checkers’ extraordinary ability to identify “misinformation” or “falsehoods” cannot be attributed to their research skills or knack for discerning truth. Rather, it is primarily a result of the unholy alliances they’ve forged with media and Big Tech.
Who are these Guardians of “Truth”?
So, who are these self-appointed guardians of the “truth” who arbitrarily slap labels on content that doesn’t satisfy their elusive and subjective standards? Let’s take a look at some ACTUAL facts about some of the more prominent fact-checkers. But, first, a disclaimer is in order: “Fact-Checkers: Mostly Misleading”
Important (and Verifiable) Facts about the Fact-Checkers
PolitiFact (famous for the “Truth-O-Meter” rating system and “Pants on Fire” rating) is operated by the Poynter Institute, which is funded by far-left activist and Democrat Party donor George Soros, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Tides Foundation and the Omidyar Network Fund (supported by the Clinton Foundation). Facebook accounts for over five percent of PolitiFact’s revenue. (It is noteworthy that the social media giant has admitted to pressuring fact-checkers to change their verdicts. PolitiFact refuses to confirm or deny whether it has been the subject of such pressure.)
An in-depth analysis revealed significant, anti-conservative bias:
- Rated Hillary Clinton the single most honest politician in 2016
- Mitt Romney (at the time, a conservative in good standing with his base) was given the lowest rating more times than all Democrats combined over almost 10 years
- Republicans received “False” or “Pants on Fire” ratings as much as three times more often than Democrats.
- PolitiFact ruled it objectively “False” to describe a person by his or her birth gender if that person identifies with another gender.
MBFC indicates that it rarely conducts its own fact checks. It primarily relies on the International Fact-Checking Network, which is founded by the Poynter Institute (funded by George Soros, et al.). MBFC is run by Dave Van Zandt, who, ironically, was forced to retract misleading information from his bio on the MBFC’s website.
MBFC uses a 3-part system that 1) assesses bias, classifying as Extreme Left, Left, Left- Center, Least Biased, Right-Center, Right, Extreme Right; 2) assesses factual reporting, classifying as Very High, High, Mostly Factual, Mixed, Low or Very Low; and 3) gives an overall credibility rating.
MBFC demonstrates substantial anti-conservative bias:
- Gives “High Credibility” rating to:
- 47% of sources considered left-leaning
- 6% of sources considered right-leaning
- Rates factual reporting as “Very High,” “High” or “Mostly Factual” to:
- 56% of left-leaning sources
- 11% of right-leaning sources
- Labels as “Questionable Sources” most prominent conservative outlets.
- Outlets included Newsmax, One America News Network, Breitbart, Townhall, Blaze, Washington Times, The Federalist, Gateway Pundit, American Thinker, and Daily Wire.
- Labels as “Conspiracy Pseudoscience” (which it defines as relating to “unverifiable theories”) sources embracing Christian concepts or holistic health concepts, all of which were classified as “Low Credibility.”
- Outlets included Answers in Genesis, Christian Broadcasting Network, Institute for Creation Research, Live Action, Children’s Health Defense, Natural News, and Prevention Magazine Negative “Questionable Source” or “Conspiracy Pseudoscience” designations are almost exclusively used for conservative sources, while some of the furthest-left sources enjoy middle-of-the-road designations.
- It is notable that the sources in these sub-categories are almost exclusively classified as “Extreme Right,” as opposed to “Extreme Left,” even though the left and right are equally capable of extremes.
According to the MBFC website, any information related to the following topics is classified as “Conspiracy Pseudoscience”:
- the theory that climate change is not a result of human influence;
- anti-vaccination positions;
- creationism; etc.
Note that MBFC does not flag information regarding evolution, even though it is a theory that is plagued with “unverifiable” assumptions that any fair-minded person must acknowledge. Neither does MBFC flag assertions that climate change is primarily driven by humans, despite the fact that this theory is also based on many unverifiable assumptions, many of which are roundly rejected by experts who are well-qualified according to fair standards.
The Fact Checker (Washington Post’s Fact-Check)
The Washington Post, including its Fact-checking division, is owned by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com and a Democrat-Party donor. Google and YouTube have provided funding to The Fact Checker. Fact Checker famously uses “Pinocchios” to rate statements by politicians and others.
Evidence of bias includes the following:
- In 2016, Bezos deployed an army of 20 newspaper staffers to scour Donald Trump’s life “for any dirt” they could find on the presumptive Republican nominee, while noticeably not engaging staffers to investigate the lives of other candidates.
- The Fact Checker developed its groundbreaking fact-check database when President Trump took office, claiming it had a duty to tally all presidential falsehoods. The Fact-Checker abruptly discontinued the correlating Biden database within his first 100 days and prior to his first joint address to Congress.
Snopes’ was founded by David Mikkelson, who recently admitted to plagiarizing from dozens of articles produced by other outlets and has been suspended from editorial production.
Snopes served as one of Facebook’s fact-checking partners from 2016-2019.
Evidence of anti-conservative bias includes:
- Snopes’ fact-checkers have reportedly not engaged in a single fact-check on President Biden’s statements in connection with the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Conversely, Snopes fact-checked President Trump’s October statements regarding the Taliban.
- According to the byline of the fact-checking article on President Trump, its author was Nur Ibrahim, whose LinkedIn page indicates she is a Harvard graduate who previously worked for Al Jazeera, the Arab network.
FactCheck.org is a partner of Facebook. It is a funded by the Annenberg Foundation, which has financial ties to Bill Ayers, notorious former leader of the Weather Underground group that took credit for bombing the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon in the 70’s. The foundation financed an organization led by Ayers and Obama that funneled millions of dollars to projects promoting far-left policies, including the Global Village school, promoting “global citizenship” and the United Nations. The site, according to Wikipedia, describes itself as a “consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.”
Evidence of Bias:
- Currently, the website is running a high-profile live Coronavirus “debunking” section where it strictly censors information citizens may post regarding the virus.
- FactCheck.org relies on information from the CDC and WHO—both of which are under fire for lack of transparency and conflicts of interest—to determine whether statements are aligned or opposed to a tightly-controlled and government-approved narrative.
So…What’s the Takeaway?
Overall, according to research, right-leaning outlets get more negative results from fact-checkers than those on the left. Perhaps even more importantly, the entire concept of fact-checking (at least within most current rating systems) is flawed and misleading. This is because the most effective lies are mostly true, i.e., they are truth with a slight twist, which, as it turns out, makes them false. The original occurrence of this type of subtle deception is found in Genesis 3:
“The serpent was the shrewdest of all…One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”Gen. 3:1
Of course, God had not said exactly that, but the woman was deceived. That lie—the statement that was partially true—was the downfall of humanity.
While fact-checkers may not be the downfall of humanity, it is important to understand that they may not be neutral—and many have proved not to be. They may be supported by or controlled by powerful people, including political activists, who have interests that impair their ability to be unbiased.