August 7, 2020
If you’ve read my newsletter for a while, you won’t be surprised that I put the term “fact-checkers” in quotes. That’s because many “fact-checkers” these days don’t check facts so much as reinforce leftist opinions by citing biased sources to brand anyone who disagrees with them as being misinformed or a liar. We know this because what we do is check actual facts. For instance, if a story claims that a prominent person said something outrageous, we track down the original quote in context, in its entirety. Sometimes, that means we correct or don’t use a story from a conservative news source. But most often, it means we correct a liberal news source. Or sometimes, a so-called “fact-checker.”
The bias of “fact-checkers” is something that many conservatives have come to hold as conventional wisdom, but now, Sharyl Attkisson of Real Clear Investigations has taken a deep dive into their backgrounds and dug up solid evidence that all those assurances of non-partisan objectivity are anything but factual.
The study confirmed that media “fact-checkers” (surprise!) lean left. The claim of objective fact-checking is largely “illusory” and amounts to a “circular feedback loop of verification” in which “like-minded journalists or often Silicon Valley gatekeepers” rely on a small group of partisan news sources and political activists to control narratives and shape and censor information. One obvious example: for monitoring media bias, the far-left activist group Media Matters is treated as a trustworthy, reliable source for “fact-checkers” such as NewsGuard, while the conservative Media Research Center is ignored.
Facebook uses the World Health Organization as a source to fight “disinformation” about the coronavirus, even though we know the WHO has engaged in multiple incidents of spreading misinformation itself. Facebook also claims that members of its new oversight board “were chosen for their expertise and diversity” and “must not have actual or perceived conflicts of interest that could compromise their independent judgment and decision-making.” Yet 18 of the 20 have ties to George Soros’ far-left Open Society Foundations, while none have taken conservative stances on any controversial issue.
Google’s “fact-checking” group First Draft was not only started by the extremely liberal parent company, but it’s also supported by liberal nonprofits, including the Soros groups, and it routinely cites biased news sources to discredit non-leftist views. Its digital director frequently tweets and retweets “anti-American rhetoric and progressive positions.” First Draft even referred readers to an article that pushed the false claim that President Trump encouraged people literally to drink bleach.
This study simply confirms what anyone who’s been paying attention already knows: a great deal of today’s so-called “fact-checking” is just leftist advocacy in camouflage. This is why we have to spend so much time here fact-checking the “fact-checkers.”