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Wednesday, March 9, 2011
WND, Newsmax Won't Fact-Check Bachmann, With Predictable Results
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Rep. Michele Bachmann is a ConWeb darling, to the point that they publish her rantings without bothering to fact-check her.

A March 5 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers and Ashley Martella dutifully repeats Bachmann's claim that "President Barack Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi should apologize to the American people for the $105 billion appropriation they 'deceitfully' hid in the healthcare reform legislation," adding that the "stunning revelation" of the expenditure points to "one of the biggest lies we have ever seen."

A March 7 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn also parroted Bachmann's claim that the health care reform bill "contains over $105 billion in already-approved spending 'hidden' in it's nearly 1,000 pages."

Newsmax and WND are so sure that Bachmann is telling the truth that neither contact anyone in the Obama administration -- or anyone at all -- to respond to the claim.

Unfortunately for them, it turns out Bachmann is lying about how "hidden" the funding is.

What Newsmax and WND wouldn't do, PolitiFact did -- fact-check Bachmann's claim:

We added up the spending Bachmann was referring to and got $104 billion -- very close to her number. Where our analysis diverges is her claim that the spending was "secret."

We concluded that Bachmann has a point if you look at at the amount of media coverage the appropriations and transfers inspired. There was hardly any. However, she went further than that, charging that the provisions were passed "secretly, unbeknownst to members of Congress." And that was not accurate.

The spending provisions were in the plain language of the bill; they did not vary dramatically from past congressional practice; and the bill was made public for 72 hours before the vote. On balance, we rated Bachmann’s statement Barely True.

Will WND and Newsmax report this truth about a right-wing icon to its readers? Don't count on it.

UPDATE: A March 7 article by Susan Jones blindly joined the parade, uncritically repeating Bachmann's claims without a fact-check and without allowing anyone to respond.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 7:25 AM EST

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