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Friday, January 25, 2019
The MRC's Continuing War on Fact-Checkers
Topic: Media Research Center

Because President Trump and his administration are constantly spreading falsehoods, the Media Research Center must try to discredit fact-checkers. Let's take a look at a few recent MRC posts to see how that war is going.

Tim Graham, in ragebot mode yet again, was very mad that Trump was fact-checked during his Oval Office address regarding his government shutdown over border wall funding. He further whined that Trump's statement that Sen. Chuck Schumer "has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past" was found to be misleading because it ignored the context that the barrier Schumer supported has already been built. Graham went on to huff:

This underlines that these "fact checkers" are really "context checkers," because the sentence itself is true. Schumer and other Democrats repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past. It doesn't make Trump's current sentence "un-factual" that he said the fence was too modest as he campaigned. It's an interesting oppositional point, but it doesn't make the sentence "misleading."

Well, actually, yes, Tim, if you do not make the full context of a statement clear, a statement that's "true" on its face can also be misleading.Graham shouldknow this because the MRC he helps run regularly attacks non-conservative media for allegedly taking the words of conservatives out of context.

Graham took offense to another fact-check on Trump's speech, this time insisting that Trump's false statement that "Democrats will not fund border security" should not be judged factually because it is "a political statement blaming the Other Party."

Nicholas Fondacaro then rehashed a Fox News appearance by former Border Patrtol chief Mark Morgan attacking fact-checks of Trump's speech. Morgan claimed that, in Fondacaro's words, that"it was the media that didn’t know what they were talking about" and that he "ripped the liberal media for acting as their own 'self-appointed experts' who spout off their own opinions." Fondacaro also wrote:

Another liberal media suggestion Carlson picked Morgan’s brain on was their claim that studies showed illegal immigrants committed crimes at a lower rate than native-born Americans. “I've never seen the study either and I pose that to somebody to show me that stat and show me how they can come up with that. Because can I show you the opposite,” he declared.

Morgan's not looking to hard to find those studies. The MRC knows they exist, if only beause it's laboring so hard to discredit them with an even more discredited study claiming the opposite.

Brad Wilmouth touted how "On Wednesday's Tucker Carlson Tonight, veteran Fox News analyst Brit Hume called out journalistic 'fact checkers' who assume that liberal opinions on the illegal immigration issue are facts, and therefore that the conservative counter-opinions are claimed by those journalists to be not factual." Invoking his current favorite bugaboo, Wilmouth added: "A bit later, Carlson brought up the recurring tendency of journalists to make questionable claims that illegal immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than U.S. citizens, leading Hume to point out that, even if that were true, it would not contradict President Trump because he is not claiming that illegals have a higher rate of committing crimes -- only that some do commit serious crimes."

Corinne Weaver then lectured:

It is important for anyone who identifies as a ‘fact-checker’ to be as objective and neutral as possible. At least in theory.

But Facebook might not have done its homework in finding the right fact-checkers. The “charity” Full Fact was announced on January 11 as the new fact-checkers for Facebook. The BBC reports that the organization will “review stories, images and videos and rate them based on accuracy.”

But these fact-checkers might have a bigger agenda, according to their funding page. Google and liberal billionaire George Soros have donated extensively to Full Fact in 2018 alone. It is also funded by a radical leftist, Pierre Omidyar, who funds the Never Trump site the Bulwark, headed by Bill Kristol.

Perhaps the move was meant to placate Soros, whose organizations, including the Color of Change, have lobbied to have Facebook undergo a civil rights audit. Facebook has been under fire following the New York Times report, which said that Facebook hired a right-wing group to do opposition research on Soros.

However, there are no conservative fact-checkers left in the Facebook fact-checking family. With the close of the Weekly Standard, Facebook has yet to name a conservative successor to fact-check.

You might remember that Facebook's oppo research on Soros -- presumably done to placate its right-wing critics -- undercut the MRC's shaky narrative that social media outlets like Facebook are run by liberals determined to censor conservatives.

Weaver did not name any conservative fact-checkers who could be considered credible and not motivated by politics over journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EST

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