By: Philip | 09-30-2017 | News
Photo credit: Convisum |

Fact Checking the Fact Checkers: Part I

It was just yesterday that I learned I was "fake news." This came as some surprise considering I do my best to use credible sources and ensure to the best of my ability the information I share is accurate and correct. A link was posted in a Reddit thread from an article I posted referring to the Goldwater as a biased, extreme-right site that engaged in spreading "propaganda and fake news."

This really hurt honestly. I'm not going to call myself "acclaimed" but my work has been in print on three continents. I was in a peer-reviewed journal (SUNY's art journal <i>Afterimage</i> before I was old enough to drink, and as far as "bias" goes, My work has appeared in the UK's <i>Morning Star</i> the oldest socialist daily paper in Britain, but it's also appeared in Dave Yorkshire's magazine <i>Mjolnir</i>.

"We are the most comprehensive media bias resource on the internet. There are currently 1900+ media sources listed in our database and growing every day. Don’t be fooled by Fake News sources. Use the search feature above (Header) to check the bias of any source. Use name or url." In fact, when <i>WND</i> contacted the owner he was quick to note that he himself is <i>not</i> an expert of any sort on journalism. In other words, based on the experiences of several news sources and fact checking organizations, this one man organization is as biased and arbitrary as many of the venues they purport to expose.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="">@100ThingsUtah</a> Left wing media bias is small potatoes huh?! AP Hires ‘Fact-Checker’ From Left Wing HuffPo <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Brian Sheltra (@BrianSheltra) <a href="">September 27, 2017</a></blockquote>

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<h2><strong>IT'S NOT JUST THE BIAS OF MEDIA FACT BIAS</h2></strong>

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies <a href="">reported on the issue with "press release studies" being passed of as news.</a> Poynter referenced a study from George Washington University that cites PolitiFact's severely flawed "press release posing as a journal article." And the larger organizations rarely pay for their major faux pas in reporting. Take for instance the "Sean Spicer in the bushes" story that had to be retracted but only after it spawned dozens of signal-boosting supporting stories. That quiet retraction made little dent in the public perception. Especially after Spicer was lampooned by SNL for the supposed incident.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Facebook begins war on real new with “Fact Checker” pop up window <a href=""></a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#fakenews</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#tcot</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bias</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; HealthRanger (@HealthRanger) <a href="">March 25, 2017</a></blockquote>

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And don't forget Russiagate. James Clapper, who perjured himself in relation to Iraq and NSA surveillance finally admitted to Congress that the <a href="">"17 intelligence agencies" story</a> that had been the top story in all the major news sources was little more than a fairy tale.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">No, Don Lemon is a race-baiter because the <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Russiagate</a> hoax was debunked as a <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Nothingburger</a> &amp; needs some new anti-Trump propaganda. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Meme Media (@ExtinctMedia) <a href="">August 23, 2017</a></blockquote>

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The Associated Press, New York Times, L.A. Times, CNN, NBC’s Meet the Press, ABC News, and USA Today are just a handful of the major news outlets persisting in repeating the “17 intelligence agencies narrative.” Despite the Nation,

Puerto Rican Donald Trump supporter <a href="">opened a libel suit</a> against a Fusion reporter when her accusation that Cassandra was a "white supremacist" for simply making the "OK" hand gesture. The reporter's baseless allegation through a tweet resulted in articles in high profile newspapers Independent UK and Ha'aretz Israel among others. The articles led to a torrent of negative publicity and attention from Antifa who threatened her life.

An equally viral story regarding how "conservatives are more likely to be less intelligent, more prone to mental illness" was retracted from the journals who shared the research but not in the Huffington Post, Livescience, New York Times and dozens of others whose websites gloat to this day about the study. In fact, it was found that the results suggested the exact opposite.

Another example among many of "fake news" perpetuated despite being literally debunked is the danger of so-called "Patriots" and "Truthers." <a href="">Even followers of Ron Paul were at one time referred to as likely terrorists</a> by an intelligence report that became news:

<blockquote>Fusion centers may have hindered not aided federal Counterterrorism efforts, according to the FOIA documents appealed for by MuckRock.

“Fusion centers have made significant intelligence errors, for themselves and the Department.” This is not new news, DHS has flubbed up before and in recent history, we have the Russiagate hoax collapsing as a striking example. “Almost no part of the initial reports of the incident had been accurate – not the fusion center report, or DHS’s own intelligence report, or it’s intelligence briefing.” One fact, a water pump in a small Illinois water district burning out, was the closest instance to a verified fusion center intel win.</blockquote>

Politicization of intelligence is such a larger kettle of fish that I won't even begin here, but if you're interested in a good primer you could do much worse than heading to Caitlyn Johnstone's nearly comprehensive series on <a href="">Debunking Russiagate.</a>

We're not the only ones to have been wrongly smeared by MBFC. Just Facts Daily asks if they're just incompetent or completely dishonest pointing to "three demonstrable falsehoods" that suggest that they are either or both.

It was their newly acquired "higher profile" that subjected them to the attacks, they claim. In this case, maybe we should take our rating with MBFC as a compliment. Just Facts notes despite their committment to calling out issues on both sides of the partisan line (something I do myself and my editors fully encourage) they were accused of a strong right wing bias.

Our own author redpill weighed in:

<quote>"To me it's a badge of honor. It means we are becoming successful enough for them to run propaganda against us."</quote>

Another obvious problem with [MBFC] is that they change their rating category depending on the source they are reviewing. <i>CNN,</i> for example, doesn't have a Credibility rating… they don't even bother, they rate <i>CNN</i> as simply left-leaning.

By the way, excepting some op-eds and rants that are clearly editorial in nature, (and often even in our op-eds) we are careful to cite our sources. Just noting the issues that have been taken with MFBC may leave us open to receiving a worse grade and review. That has apparently happened to others.

<i>Washington Post</i>, <i>NPR</i>, <i>Weekly Standard</i> <a href="">also reported on the matter of discrepancies, errors and other issues found in several, well-known supposedly bias-free fact-checking groups. Don't even get me started on Snopes.

Not yet anyway.

To be continued…

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1 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 8909 2018-09-22 : 02:22

Philip, you're the only good thing about The Turdwater

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