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Friday, December 3, 2021
The Fact-Check Fails Continue for MRC's Graham
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham is so desperate to discredit fact-checkers for daring to fact-check his fellow conservatives that his fails in that area keep piling up. He did this again in an Oct. 14 post:

PolitiFact gets very defensive when Republicans attack the Biden administration. On Monday, PolitiFact's Jon Greenberg gave Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) a "False" for an October 5 tweet about Attorney General Merrick Garland's controversial orders to investigate parents as potential violent criminals. 

Rick Scott wrongly warns FBI coming after loud parents at school board meetings."

The clear answer is that the FBI is not targetng parents for merely speaking out at school board meetings, and Garland has never said otherwise. Even Graham's own MRC could find no evidence of such in the National School Boards Association's letter to Garland expressing their concerns, claiming only that the letter "suggested" such a claim. Rather than admit the evidence doesn't support him, Graham demanded that things outside Scott's claim be fact-checked and insisted that someone's speculation is just the same as a debunking:

Greenberg quoted from Garland's memo....but never imagined whether he should check the liberal argument, if there has in fact been a "disturbing spike" in threats or violence at school administrators. Does anyone have a count?


The only note of balance in this piece is law professor Eugene Volokh arguing "Garland mentioned harassment and intimidation. If he had stopped with criminal threats, we would agree. But I’ve seen the terms ‘harassment’ and ‘intimidation’ used very broadly. I can see someone at a meeting worrying that if they get up too often, or they say too much, they might be charged."

Graham didn't explain why law enforcement isn't allowed to be proactive and that they must wait until a school board member is injured or killed before anyone is allowed to question the actions of parents whipped into a frenzy by right-wing activists pushing dubious claims (like the MRC). Instead, he launched a personal attack on the researcher for daring to fact-check Scott, then lashed out at PolitiFact for fact-checking conservatives at all:

Greenberg has pounced on Scott seven times this year -- all of them "Mostly False" or "False." Overall, in 2021, Jon Greenberg has fact checks on Republican politicians or entities, and just seven on all Democrats. Four of those were on President Biden. Greenberg's two fact checks on Senate Democrats (Tim Kaine and Sherrod Brown) were both rated "True."

Overall, Rick Scott has 172 fact checks from PolitiFact -- 80 of them Mostly False or worse. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer has... 23.

Let's guess this is because Scott is from Florida, and PolitiFact is a project of the Poynter Institute in Florida. Nelson has only 30 fact checks. Fully half of those were "True" or "Mostly True," and only six were "Mostly False" or "False."

As much as Graham loves to whine about conservatives being fact-checked, he has never provided evidence to back up his unspoken contention that Democratic politicians lie at least as much as Republican ones in a way that would justify the fact-checking equity he's effectively demanding. It seems as if he's afraid that inconveneient facts would get in the way of his narrative.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EST

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