Op-Ed: We Need To Start Checking The Fact Checkers

“Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.”

– Jawaharlal Nehru

When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440, the era of mass communication was born. By the 19th century, when steam-powered presses were introduced, the mass printing of newspapers, magazines and books overwhelmed the world with information. This gave people a plethora of information and sources to obtain knowledge and learn about past and current events.

For centuries, news reporting has been hard to verify. Bad reporting started wars, tainted elections, created social chaos, and ruined lives. When Hurst and Pulitzer chose political allies, they made newspapers political machines. By 1900, yellow dog reporters turned reliable and honorable news sources into political scandal sheets.

“Reporters trade in pain. It sells papers.”

– Jonathan Maberry

The Washington Post was the first to initiate fact checking in the 1980s. But verifying facts did not boom until the internet appeared. The first fact checkers were Snopes in 1994 and Spinsanity in 2003. Then FactCheck.org and PolitiFact followed. According to Reporters’ Lab, there are 188 recognized international fact checkers in more than 60 countries. They counted 50 in the U.S.

The election of Barack Obama proved once the media chooses sides, it shows how dysfunctional fact checkers are. This was immediately evident as liberal social media websites were populated with propaganda and postings defending Obama’s puzzled past. When facts were revealed about his concerning relationships with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, fact checkers went underground.

The Select Committee’s investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attack revealed a morbid account of dereliction of duty by the president and Hillary Clinton. After months of jihadist attacks on U.S. targets, they had no plan to extract Americans from Benghazi and five people were killed. Since this occurred 56 days before the 2012 election, it was ignored by the media and fact checkers. To this day, numerous facts about Benghazi were never revealed and we’ll never know the true facts.

The presidential election of 2016 revealed how unreliable this new era of fact checking is and how biased it is. The day popular real estate magnet Donald Trump announced his intention to run for president, the liberal media and the left went on a campaign to “cancel him out” of existence before the first debate. By Election Day, they had criminalized his past and his character to the point he could not get a job in a car wash. The fact checkers were on vacation during his entire campaign.

On Election Eve 2016, when Trump nosed out Clinton at the finish line, fact checkers rose from the dead and went to work overtime! And it soon became obvious they were fact checking President Trump only. It became clear when the left and the media sent out a barrage of fables and delusive epithets how Trump had hijacked the election from their preordained victor Clinton.

“The voters choose who they wanted as president – and it wasn’t Donald Trump!”

– Hillary Clinton

Since Election Eve 2016, the media and the left have labeled Trump as a tyrant, a sexist, a racist, and a homophobe with nary a fact checker reporting their claims are untrue. A man media loved as a New York celebrity has been scorned since he did far more for America than their revered Obama did. Fact checkers have remained silent while the media has reported fake facts as news for four years.

We all knew this was coming but nobody dreamed liberal media and the socialist left could ever get this disingenuous! They are feeding a barrage of fake and distorted fables and falsehoods to voters about the candidates running in this election. A recent Pew Research Center survey revealed that two thirds of voters believe this is the most defamatory presidential campaign in American history.

“Political parties are the most ‘fatal disease’ of popular governments.”

– Alexander Hamilton

When a Washington outsider does a better job than a party hack, this does not set well with political parties. To his opposition, this is war. While Democrats hurl false maladies at Trump, fact checkers are MIA! They’re running cover for Biden’s past, which is riddled with lies, fables and flip-flopping!

A review of Biden’s 47 years in politics is a reminder to voters how the Democratic Party has gone from supporting slavery, segregation, and racism, to Socialism in a century. Biden has been on all sides of their revolving political door. And fact checkers are helping the left hide this from voters.

When Biden accepted the nomination for president, he said, “This election is about character.” Not one fact checker stood up? Biden has fibbed about his education, his record on abortion, busing, SocialSecurity, taxes, NAFTA, Iraq, federal bailouts, green energy, Civil Rights, health care, the Ukraine and more.

“I have always made my position on every issue extremely clear.”

– Joe Biden

Since the left made this campaign about race, you’d think every word a candidate ever said about race would be fact checked? Wrong! Joe Biden has flip-flopped on race his entire career, and he has fabricated a totally fictitious Civil Rights resume and not one fact checker has revealed this?

In 1987, Biden made multiple claims about marching in the Civil Rights Movement and risking his life to end segregation in Birmingham and Selma. Politico said that is false. At a 2014 King Day event, Biden said he was trained as a civil rights worker in 1960 on Sundays in Black churches with the Reverends Herrin and Maurice Moyer. But newspaper records reveal he only met them in 2020?

“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, you ain’t black.”

– Joe Biden

Thomas Sowell wrote, “Facts are not liberals’ strong suit.” Since this election season began, nobody has been “checking the liberal fact checkers.” Research by George Mason University found PolitiFact finds Republicans are three times more dishonest than Democrats. Or are they? The Wall Street Journal said that isn’t true. In fact, most fact checkers today mix “opinions” with the facts in question depending on their political leanings. The first fact checker, Snopes, is notorious for this.

There is a “truth gap” in Washington, but it’s not what fact checkers want you to believe. In a study done by Emory, they concluded fact-checking entities are biased themselves. Another study found when Facebook revealed it was banning harmful political posts, they banned GOP posts five to one over liberal posts. Who is fooling who about fact checking on social media? It surly isn’t Facebook.

When we had beat reporters digging for news and competing for headlines, papers could not afford to print untruths. People relied on them to report factual information that affected their lives. Papers that reported opinions as facts did not exist for long since readers were the fact checkers. But with internet news and leftist college trained reporters running newsrooms, this new breed of reporters can’t help but reflect the leftist opinions they were taught in school – and that includes fact checkers too.

“All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgerize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level.”

The Center Square – William Bernbach

William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.

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