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 Daily Wire reports:
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.
Here’s Snopes claiming that AOC DID NOT say that photos of the 9/11/01 terrorist attack were “triggering”.
But their own story says that AOC DID say that photos of the 9/11/01 terrorist attack were “triggering”:
Well, that’s just Snopes. Maybe other fact-checkers are different.
What about Politifact?
Politifact screwed up a fact-check during the Arizona 2018 Senate race.
The Daily Caller explains:
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.