Big Tech social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. all would like you to believe that they are very interested in honesty and integrity. But what’s the truth? During the Thursday night debate, Joe Biden claimed that not a single person lost their health insurance after Obamacare. The claim was labeled the Lie of the Year in 2013. Yet the fact-checkers are silent now.
First, here is the clip of Biden claiming that no one lost their health insurance as a result of Obamacare:
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said during Thursday night’s debate that nobody lost their health insurance plans when Obamacare was fully implemented, but millions of individuals had their insurance policies cancelled at the time.
A RAND Corporation study estimated that 5.9 million people lost their insurance plans due to Obamacare’s rules and regulations.
Obamacare is the 2010 health care law crafted by former President Obama, for whom Biden served as vice president for both of his terms.
Obama was heavily criticized at the time for telling Americans that if “you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” which turned out not to be the case.
Politifact rated Obama’s promise the “lie of the year” in 2013.
Biden said this during the debate:
“Not one single person with private insurance would lose their insurance under my plan, nor did they under Obamacare. They did not lose their insurance unless they chose they wanted to go to something else,” he said.
Although Politifact rated the claim “Lie of the year” in 2013 – AFTER OBAMA’S RE-ELECTION WAS FINISHED – they actually rated the exact same claim “True” before the election. They did this so to trick people into voting for the re-election of the Democrat candidate.
Avik Roy, health care policy expert at Forbes magazine, wrote about Politifact’s assessment of Obama’s promise to Americans about keeping their health plans after Obamacare.
In 2008, before the presidential election, PolitiFact rated Obama’s claims about Obamacare “True”:
Roy writes: (links removed)
On October 9, 2008, Angie Drobnic Holan of PolitiFact published an article using the site’s “Truth-O-Meter” to evaluate this claim: “Under Barack Obama’s health care proposal, ‘if you’ve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it.’”
And she concluded:
[…]…people who want to keep their current insurance should be able to do that under Obama’s plan. His description of his plan is accurate, and we rate his statement True.”
PolitiFact’s pronouncements about Obamacare were widely repeated by pro-Obama reporters and pundits, and had a meaningful impact on the outcome of the election. Indeed, in 2009, PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 campaign.
Here’s the screen capture from 2008:
Before the election, it’s true! And Obama got re-elected, because people believed that. But what happened after the election?
In 2013, after the 2012 election, PolitiFact rated Obama’s claims about Obamacare “Pants On Fire”:
Roy writes: (links removed)
On December 12,  the self-appointed guardians of truth and justice at PolitiFact named President Obama’s infamous promise—that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it”—its 2013 “Lie of the Year.”
[…][N]one of the key facts that made that promise “impossible” in 2008 had changed by 2013. The President’s plan had always required major disruption of the health insurance market; the Obamacare bill contained the key elements of that plan; the Obamacare law did as well. The only thing that had changed was the actual first-hand accounts of millions of Americans who were losing their plans now that Obamacare was live.
And the screen capture from 2013:
So when Politifact rates a statement by a Democrat as true, what they really mean is that it’s pants-on-fire-false, but it’s election time so they can’t say that. This is what “fact-checking” by far-left progressive “journalists” amounts to. They’re liars.
It’s very troubling to me that people in my office who are on the left still think that mainstream news organizations and “fact checkers” are unbiased and reliable. When the mainstream news media or “fact checkers” are caught in a mistake, my co-workers never seem to become aware of it. They live in a bubble, consuming “news” that confirms what they already want to believe about the world.
Here’s an example where the New York Times printed smears against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and then had to issue a correction.
The New York Times was forced to correct a smear article on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after it was revealed that they excluded exculpatory evidence from their report.
“An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party,” The Times wrote in a correction. “The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”
So, they printed an entire article about an alleged assault against this female student, and the actual female student declined to be interviewed and did not recall the incident.
According to John McCormack of National Review:
“Omitting this fact from the New York Times story is one of the worst cases of journalistic malpractice in recent memory.”
That’s mainstream news media, in a nutshell. In cases of fake news, the fake news story is always trumpeted on the front page. The correction gets printed days later, somewhere further back in the newspaper. If a correction is printed at all.
But what about the fact-checkers? Surely they must be more reliable about checking facts, before printing fake news, right?
What about Snopes?
Well, let’s consider Snopes, a famous fact-checker used by all the Big Tech companies to independently fact-check conservative web sites.
PolitiFact incorrectly labeled it “mostly false” that Democratic Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema “protested troops in a pink tutu” during its live fact-check of the Arizona Senate debate Monday night.
It’s an established fact that Sinema, a former Green Party activist who co-founded an anti-war group, wore a pink tutu at one of the multiple anti-war protests she attended in 2003.
Here’s their Politifact’s evaluation of McSally’s claim:
And here’s the photo of Kyrsten Sinema, protesting the troops, in a pink tutu:
The Daily Caller notes:
A 2003 Arizona State University news article at the time described Sinema wearing “something resembling a pink tutu” at one of the protests.
The mainstream media, e.g. – the New York Times, and the major fact-checkers, e.g. Snopes and Politifact, are constantly making mistakes likes this. People need to understand that the major fact-checkers are not specially-trained investigators. They’re mostly just journalists – and journalists are known to donate overwhelmingly to Democrat candidates. I’ve blogged before about peer-reviewed studies showing the far-left bias of mainstream media journalists.
I’m not saying that journalists are just a bunch of uneducated losers who ran up student loan debt while getting drunk, getting high and being promiscuous in college. I’m just saying that journalism is not engineering. Engineers are accountable to reality. They have to solve problems in reality. Journalists often have very little education in reality based fields like math, science and engineering. They often haven’t learned to think critically. They are often swayed by feelings and peer pressure. You couldn’t trust these people to do anything useful for you, like fix your car, give you anesthetic, or program a computer, etc. They don’t have reality-based skills that produce useful results. Their product is feelings – they allow a certain segment of society to persist in their feelings-based delusions. Their customers pay journalists for comfortable lies that affirm their moral superiority over their political enemies.
We need to have accurate views of the reliability of the mainstream media and the so-called fact-checkers, so we can be skeptical when we hear claims that sound far-fetched or made-up. Fake news is real, and it happens more often than you think.
If someone asked you to name the most prestigious national newspapers, you might be tempted to name the Washington Post and the New York Times. Both papers enjoy wide circulation, and they both used to have a reputation for honest journalism. But lately, people have been accusing them of publishing fake news stories in order to benefit the Democrat party. What is the truth?
Well, consider this article from The Federalist about two recent news stories, one from each paper.
The Washington Post is standing by its August 29 report that the Trump administration is cracking down on potentially fraudulent passports, although it is marked by a stunning number of reporting failures, detailed most thoroughly by The Huffington Post on Monday. Reporters and editors on the story got facts wrong, misled readers, left out key data contradicting the premise of the article, and failed to reach out to the family of a deceased man accused of fraud in the story.
The initial story claimed the Trump administration is taking unprecedented action against thousands of Hispanic people living near the southern border suspected of having obtained false U.S. birth certificates. It was based largely on anecdotal evidence from immigration lawyers working in the area who said they are seeing a surge in the number of passports under scrutiny.
Within hours of its publication, a Slate reporter pointed out the practice of denying passports to people issued birth certificates from midwives suspected of fraud began under the George W. Bush administration, and continued through the Barack Obama administration. The story was corrected Aug. 31 to reflect this error. The story also asserted the Trump administration is newly targeting people delivered by a Texas doctor suspected of fraud, but HuffPo reports that practice also predates this administration.
After the State Department released numbers contradicting the story’s premise a few days after publication, editors added a new claim — that the Trump administration was newly denying passports to people living far from the border. HuffPo found this too was a practice that predates the Trump administration.
Those numbers provided by the State Department showed that not only has the rate of passport denials declined under Trump, but the number of passports under scrutiny has also declined. Editors issued a Sept. 1 correction to reflect that the rate was lower, but left out the numbers indicating the total number of passports under scrutiny is also lower.
Following these two major corrections, reporters continued to find problems with the paper’s handling of the facts and new contradictory information, particularly about the deceased doctor named in the story. The reporter did not reach out to the doctor’s family for his side of the story, although he is named as under suspicion of fraud by the government. And he was wrongly identified as a gynecologist, when he is in fact a general practitioner.
The family reached out to the paper immediately after the story was published, hoping to correct the record, but the paper ignored them for nearly two weeks, until HuffPo asked about the inquiries. Finally, the paper issued a third correction on Sept. 13 incorporating the family’s perspective.
And what about the New York Times?
On the same day Washington Post issued its third correction to this story, The New York Times published a hit on Nikki Haley that was problematic in a less complicated way, but more brazen in its disregard for the basics of reporting. The remains of this report are comically banal. It was initially a “bombshell” implying Haley should be potentially removed from her post as ambassador for needlessly lavish spending as the State Department implements budget cuts, but is now a toothless report on the Obama State Department’s years-old decision to buy pricey curtains for a new ambassador residence.
The first headline read, “Nikki Haley’s View of New York Is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701,” and was splashed next to a photo of Haley. Buried in the piece, however, was a line contradicting the impression the article was framed to create — “A spokesman for Ms. Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration. Ms. Haley had no say in the purchase, he said.”
After initial criticism, editors moved that line up several paragraphs, but eventually rechecked the facts and overhauled the entire frame of the story. One Obama administration official said the curtains were chosen in part for security reasons.
Now, if you look at all the corrections made by the progressive mainstream media, what you’ll find is that their mistakes almost always punish the Republican party, and almost always benefit the Democrat party. No exceptions. These newspapers are allies of the Democrat party, and they know that for every 100 people who see the fake news story, only 1 person will see the correction. And this is how they sway public opinion. Fake news now, correction in a few weeks, to keep up a patina of respectability.
Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS’ “Evening News,” The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.
Only Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume” and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.
The most centrist outlet proved to be the “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.” CNN’s “NewsNight With Aaron Brown” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” were a close second and third.
“Our estimates for these outlets, we feel, give particular credibility to our efforts, as three of the four moderators for the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential debates came from these three news outlets — Jim Lehrer, Charlie Gibson and Gwen Ifill,” Groseclose said. “If these newscasters weren’t centrist, staffers for one of the campaign teams would have objected and insisted on other moderators.”
The fourth most centrist outlet was “Special Report With Brit Hume” on Fox News, which often is cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet. While this news program proved to be right of center, the study found ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “Nightly News” to be left of center. All three outlets were approximately equidistant from the center, the report found.
“If viewers spent an equal amount of time watching Fox’s ‘Special Report’ as ABC’s ‘World News’ and NBC’s ‘Nightly News,’ then they would receive a nearly perfectly balanced version of the news,” said Milyo, an associate professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Missouri at Columbia.”
The programming studied on Fox News offered a somewhat more positive picture… of Republicans and more negative one of Democrats compared with other media outlets. Fox News stories about a Republican candidate were most likely to be neutral (47%), with the remainder more positive than negative (32% vs. 21% negative). The bulk of that positive coverage went to Giuliani (44% positive), while McCain still suffered from unflattering coverage (20% positive vs. 35% negative).
When it came to Democratic candidates, the picture was more negative. Again, neutral stories had a slight edge (39%), followed by 37% negative and 24% positive. And, in marked contrast from the rest of the media, coverage of Obama was twice as negative as positive: 32% negative vs. 16% positive and 52% neutral.
But any sense here that the news channel was uniformly positive about Republicans or negative about Democrats is not manifest in the data.”
Senior executives, on-air personalities, producers, reporters, editors, writers and other self-identifying employees of ABC, CBS and NBC contributed more than $1 million to Democratic candidates and campaign committees in 2008, according to an analysis by The Examiner of data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The Democratic total of $1,020,816 was given by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks, with an average contribution of $880.
By contrast, only 193 of the employees contributed to Republican candidates and campaign committees, for a total of $142,863. The average Republican contribution was $744.
[…]The data on contributions by broadcast network employees was compiled by CRP at the request of The Examiner and included all 2008 contributions by individuals who identified their employer as one of the three networks or subsidiaries. The data does not include contributions by employees of the three networks who did not identify their employer.
The CRP is the organization behind OpenSecrets.org, the web site that for more than a decade has put campaign finance data within reach of anybody with an Internet connection.
President Obama received 710 such contributions worth a total of $461,898, for an average contribution of $651 from the network employees. Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain received only 39 contributions totaling $26,926, for an average donation of $709.
Those are the facts about media bias.
So when you read stories in conservative news media, such as The Federalist, Daily Caller, Daily Wire, Daily Signal, Washington Free Beacon, etc. about how the leftist mainstream media printed fake news again, and have to correct it, you understand why this is happening.