Lies, omissions and false fact checks – a banner week for media disinformation

NY Post

Last week, USA Today decided to fact check reality. Presented with a photo of President Biden checking his watch during the return of dead US service members to American soil, reporter Daniel Funke said that was “wrong.” Don’t believe your lying eyes. No, Funke insisted, Biden only checked his watch after the ceremony was over. No matter that military family members were already quoted saying the president did it multiple times. Then, calamity. Pictures revealed that Biden checked his watch at least three times. Funke was forced to fact check his fact check, which he did grudgingly as a “clarification.” USA Today couldn’t even bring itself to say the fact was “true.” It was changed to “missing context.” What context? The only one we can think of is “the context that this makes Biden look bad and we can’t have that.” It’s tempting to dismiss these fact checkers as navel-gazing propaganda, but the problem is they are increasingly used by social media companies to censor information. In the summer of 2020, USA Today ran a fact check that claimed that “the 1994 crime bill, strongly promoted by then-Sen. Joe Biden, did not bring mass incarceration to Black Americans.” Funny, lots of people on the left don’t think this is a lie, and USA Today’s reasoning is based on an analysis by The Brennan Center for Justice that called the bill’s legacy “complicated” — not exactly a debunking.

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