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Saturday, March 27, 2021
MRC's Graham: Anti-Biden Claim Isn't 'False,' It Just 'Isn't ... Very Factual'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham thought he had a pretty good gotcha in a Feb. 26 post:

The reputation of PolitiFact as an "independent fact-checker" just doesn't rest on their factual accuracy. It rests on whether their selection of which facts to check demonstrate an ideological tilt (it does). Conservatives were mocking their tweet from Thursday night: 

Beware of Facebook posts blaming Joe Biden for insulin price hikes. Experts said any recent price changes facing individual patients are likely due to the way insurance works, not the Biden administration.

"Beware of Facebook posts blaming Joe Biden" is what PolitiFact is specializing in right now.

Bill McCarthy was taking exception [to] a Facebook post that claimed "Insulin went from $60 to $500 with the swipe of creepy Joe’s pen..." A Facebook post with 1,100 shares is more dangerous, apparently, than national media outlets that mangle the facts for millions of Americans.

But then Graham had to concede that PolitiFact's fact-check was correct. He wouldn't go so far as to admit the claim is "false," of course, instead setting for "isn't ... very factual":

Let's stipulate that this isn't a very factual assertion. Last summer, President Trump ordered that insulin prices be reduced in the Medicare program for seniors, but it wasn't set to be implemented until January 22, and Biden suspended it (temporarily) in his wave of Trump-reversing executive orders.

That turn of phrase reminds us of Graham's attempt to dismiss Trump's barrage of falsehoods during his presidency: He's not a liar, he just has "a casual relationahip with the truth."

In most non-MRC settings "isn't ... very factual" is the same thing as "false." But in Graham's fevered, hate-filled brain, proving that a claim about Biden is no different than being on the Democratic Party payroll, so he went on to whine that "PolitiFact underlined that the fact-checker community as a bloc was rushing to defend Biden,"further complaining:

Even so, this has not been a TV story. A quick search of transcripts in Nexis for “Biden” and “insulin” since January 20 on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC found no mention of Biden’s freeze on Trump's insulin price order. There were eight stories with these two words, all of them on the cable channels, and five of the eight were about the prospect of Texans caught without insulin in the winter storm.

Yes, that's what Graham is whining about -- that PolitiFact stopped a lie in its tracks before it could gain traction in the larger right-wing media sphere. Not that Graham and the MRC would have ever told its readers this was false absent this whining about PolitiFact. (Also note that Fox News is suspiciously absent from his Nexis search.)

This is the problem with Graham's war on fact-checking -- he doesn't actually care about facts, only in pursuing right-wing gotchas that gets clicks. The fact that he left this post up tells us he doesn't understand what an utter failure this attempt was. Then again, he's failed before, so he's apparently used to the feeling.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EDT

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