If you spend any time engaged in the media space or consuming news, you’ve no doubt seen the phenomenon of “fact-checking.”
On Twitter, so-called fact-checkers are censoring President Trump’s tweets but allowing calls for genocide by other world leaders to stand. On Facebook, fact-checkers regularly flag news articles published by conservative outlets for “misinformation.”
Fact-checkers are portrayed as non-biased arbiters of truth and respected because they work for “legitimate” and “credible mainstream” news outlets, but a deep dive by investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson shows what we long suspected about their bias.
Fact-checking organizations have grappled internally with the obvious but usually unspoken challenge in all such efforts: It is unrealistic to expect that any appointed group of fact-checkers has true expertise on all of the topics they litigate. Yet they do so every day.
Keeping this in mind, the biggest inherent flaw with efforts to fact-check information may lie in the qualifications, bias, and conflicts of interest among the ranks of the fact-checkers themselves. One example is the fact-checking nonprofit First Draft, started by Google at the beginning of the 2016 election cycle. Google is owned by Alphabet, Inc. Alphabet executives and employees comprise a politically active group that ranks among the largest political donors to Democrats in the country. During the 2016 campaign, Alphabet was led by an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter and campaign volunteer, executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
First Draft is also supported by an array of liberal companies and nonprofits, including the Ford Foundation and George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. First Draft tends to fact-check topics in a vein that’s consistent with its major donors’ opinions and interests.
18 of the 20 members of Facebook’s oversight board members have ties to Soros’ Open Society Foundations, which have spent billions of dollars on global initiatives aggressively advocating for the progressive side on topics ranging from immigration policy and climate to abortion, gender, and racial policies.
So-called fact-checking has become so pervasive, Democrats have urged former Vice President Joe Biden to refuse a debate with President Trump unless his statements are fact-checked in real-time.
“Biden should insist that a real-time fact-checking team approved by both candidates be hired by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates — and that 10 minutes before the scheduled conclusion of the debate this team report on any misleading statements, phony numbers or outright lies either candidate had uttered. That way no one in that massive television audience can go away easily misled,” notoriously leftist New York Times columnist Tom Friedman recently argued.
Most of the time, fact-checkers are simply an extension of a leftist media claiming to have a monopoly on the truth.