A recent study reveals that alleged non-partisan fact-checker PolitiFact was eight times as likely to defend President Joe Biden than to check his statements for accuracy. It seems that after four years of being unabashedly anti-Trump, the organization has decided to retire from the game of holding presidents accountable. In keeping with tradition, the supposed fact-checking site has now switched from offense to running defense for a president who has lied about everything from the migrant crisis to voting laws.
PolitiFact White Knights for President Biden
According to a report from Newsbusters, PolitiFact has taken a markedly different approach to President Biden during his first 100 days in office from how it treated former President Donald Trump during the same time period of his presidency.
“A new study by the Media Research Center finds that four years ago, PolitiFact offered 52 fact checks with a ‘Truth-O-Meter’ ruling of Donald Trump in his first 100 days (January 20 to April 30, 2017), while in the same period this year, PolitiFact offered just 13 fact checks of President Biden.”
The website splits its coverage of Biden into two categories: “Fact Checks Of Biden” and “Fact Checks About Biden.” This means the Pharaohs of Fairness at PolitiFact created a whole section dedicated to debunking supposed lies about Biden. Apparently, they forgot this particular issue under the previous administration.
Newsbusters’ analysis showed there were “13 fact checks ‘of Biden,’ and 106 fact checks ‘about Biden.’” It notes that this is an “eight-to-one disparity.”
To put it simply, PolitiFact is far more concerned about defending Biden from supposed “lies” than they are about checking the president when he utters a falsehood. Newsbusters further notes:
“Many of the fact checks about Biden are about ‘Facebook Posts,’ ‘Viral Images,’ or ‘Tweets.’ Those rulings often translate into content warnings. But there were two ‘Pants on Fire’ rulings for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and one each for Fox News and for Tucker Carlson. Liz Cheney got the Flaming Pants for insisting that less than six percent of Biden’s infrastructure package is about infrastructure.”
The report pointed out that the percentage of Politifact ratings of both presidents were, remarkably, the same at 61.5%. However, the site gave Trump four times as many evaluations as Biden. “Thirty-two of 52 Trump evaluations were defined as ‘Mostly False,’ ‘False,’ or ‘Pants on Fire.’ Eight of 13 Biden evaluations landed on the False side. Biden had zero ‘Pants on Fire’ ratings in the first 100 days. In 2017, Trump had two,” according to the media watchdog.
Moreover, one would not need a crystal ball to predict that the site’s fact checks of criticism against President Biden were predominantly negative. A whopping 91 of 106 evaluations were deemed “Mostly False” or worse. Newsbusters noted: “There were 24 ‘Pants on Fire’ ratings for Biden critics, 45 ‘False’ ratings, and 22 ‘Mostly False.’ Ten were ‘Half True,’ three were ‘Mostly True,’ and two were ‘True.’”
But the difference in how PolitiFact covered the two presidents is even more striking when one considers the site’s overall approach. Newsbusters pointed out:
“Overall, Biden’s PolitiFact page shows he’s been put on the ‘Truth-O-Meter’ 169 times in the website’s history beginning in 2007, and was found to be on the True/Mostly True side 67 times (almost 40 percent) and Mostly False or worse 78 times (46 percent). By contrast, Donald Trump has 931 of these fact-checks, and 692 of them Mostly False or worse (74.3 percent). Trump has 161 ‘Pants on Fire’ ratings. Biden has six.”
Who’s Checking the Checkers?
The problem with alleged fact-checkers like PolitiFact is that they clearly aren’t dispassionate observers trying to ensure that the truth is presented to the public. The people who work for these organizations are not dedicated to ensuring honesty and accountability from the government. These individuals masquerade as crusaders for truth when, in reality, they are nothing more than activists shilling for the party that best fits their ideology.
If these supposed purveyors of truth took the role seriously, they would never set up an entire section dedicated to defending a president on either side of the political divide. Their focus would be on exposing untruths uttered by politicians of all stripes, not just those they don’t like.
The fact that Newsbusters was able to so easily expose the evident bias is telling. These people are not even attempting to conceal their agenda. Perhaps their hubris will eventually prove to be their undoing as more Americans realize these so-called fact-checkers are not good-faith actors.
Read more from Jeff Charles.