Topic: Media Research Center
Apparently, the proper role of the "independent fact-checker" during today's presidential campaign is to present the consistent opinion that Joe Biden is a force for truth and light, and President Donald Trump is a rampaging liar who never says anything true.
No one should suggest that these "fact-checker" groups need to parcel their rulings out in a completely even fashion so everyone gets a participation trophy for being half-right. But the dramatic tilt in these "fact-checkers" betrays an obvious partisan bias.
Just look at PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter rulings for Biden for the month of August: Mostly True, Mostly True, Mostly True, Mostly True, Mostly True and Half True.
Now let's compare that to Trump's August Truth-O-Meter rulings: one Half True, two Mostly False, 11 False and four Pants on Fire.
Overall, from the start of 2019 through August 2020, Trump has gotten 197 Truth-O-Meter ratings, and Biden has only gotten 64. Trump rated Mostly False or worse in 156 of them (79 percent). He was only Mostly True or True in 17 ratings (8.6 percent). By contrast, Biden rated Mostly True or True in more than half: 33 of 64 (52 percent), and then there are 29 Mostly False or worse (45 percent).
Does anyone less partisan than Brian Stelter think these "fact-checkers" should boast of their "independence"?
As usually happens when he makes this complaint, Graham offers no evidence that Biden tells falsehoods at the same rate as Trump, or that there's any reason to fact-check Biden at the same rate as Trump other than his demand for false equivalence. Nevertheless, he continued:
Some might suggest this is just about a serious aversion to Trump's casual relationship with the truth. So let's take a broader view. Take the dates of the party conventions, from the start of the Democratic one, on Aug. 17, to the aftermath of the Republican one, on Aug. 28. Over those 12 days, PolitiFact checked Republicans and their affiliated PACs and pundits 32 times and only checked Democrats and their equivalents 11 times. The disparity of checks alone implies a partisan tilt.
Again, Graham offered no evidence that Democrats told falsehoods at an equivalent rate to Republicans. The only thing being "implied" here is that Graham cannot be bothered to do even the most basic research to lend any kind of factual basis to his biased, partisan rantings.
Desperate to spin away any suggestion, no matter how well documented, that Trump is an inveterate liar, Graham spent a Sept. 13 MRC post whining that Trump's claims of mail-in voting being massively fraudulent were being fact-checked. In devising a new spin on Trump falsehoods, he insulted a Washington Post fact-checker as not smart enough to tell the difference between a fact, and a prediction," going on to huff: "This is one of the most annoying dirty tricks of the 'fact checking' trade. Smear your target as a 'liar' because you don’t like the predictions they’re making."
There is a long history of mail-in voting not being fraudulent, but Graham doesn't want to talk about that. He still in campaign-style spin mode as befits the MRC's status as themedia arm for the Trump campaign:
That's not to say that everything Trump says about mail-in voting is impeccable. Constantly predicting the election will be "rigged" or fraudulent is inflammatory, but it's in the future, so it's not factual/unfactual. Rizzo and his bosses don't care. They want the "fusillades of falsehood" headline and all the clicks that come from the trash talk.
The Post and other Democrat-helper media outlets have an emotional investment in crushing anyone claiming mail-in voting could be problematic.
Graham clearly has an emotional investment in trying to discredit fact-checkers because they threaten Trump's re-election by telling the truth about the president.
Graham managed to appear even more desperate in a Sept. 17 appearance on the right-wing safe space that is Newsmax TV:
NewsBusters Executive Editor Tim Graham appeared on Newsmax on Wednesday night to hammer the liberal media for fake and misleading fact checking. Talking about the grilling Donald Trump endured during his Tuesday night town hall on ABC, Graham dismissed the efforts of host George Stephanopoulos as “I'm a Democrat. I'm going to stick up for the Democrats.”
He zinged, “It's not fact checking. It's just playing the Democratic Party rebuttal.”
That's not a "zing" -- that's flailing spin from someone who might as well be on the Trump campaign payroll (if he isn't already).