Sometimes you see something related to politics that is just so perfect it has to be shared. A USA Today fact-check that dropped yesterday is one of those things, and keep reading because it’ll become very obvious why in a moment.
Daniel Funke, who describes himself as “checking facts + covering misinfo” on Twitter decided to take on those who said that Joe Biden checked his watch during the dignified transfer of the 13 US servicemembers last week. That tragedy occurred at the hands of an ISIS suicide bomber after the Biden administration outsourced security to the Taliban.
Funke’s resume includes a stop at Politifact if that gives you an idea of how this is going to go. He also lists his pronouns in his bio because of course, he does.
New fact check: A viral photo makes it look like President Biden checked his watch during a ceremony honoring U.S. service members killed in Kabul. But that's misleading. https://t.co/F6bjQFYVbC
— Daniel Funke (@dpfunke) September 1, 2021
As fact-checks go, Funke’s write-up wasn’t remarkable. It had the typical mix of unearned arrogance, obtuseness, and obfuscation that the fact-checking industry has made their staple, led by such brilliant minds as Glenn Kessler and Daniel Dale. In the end, Funke conceded that Biden had checked his watch, but only after the dignified transfer was over. He even challenged people to “watch the video for yourself.”
Had that been the end of it, Funke’s partisan hackery wouldn’t have even been worthy of a write-up. If I wrote on every instance of media bias, I’d literally never stop writing, after all. But that wasn’t the end of it.
Today, a correction dropped on his “fact-check,” and it’s in the running for the greatest correction I’ve ever seen. Truly, it’s one for the ages.
A two part story courtesy of the "fact checkers" in the media. pic.twitter.com/DyBFCBJH2g
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) September 3, 2021
Here’s what it says now at the top of the article.
Corrections and Clarifications: This story was updated Sept. 2 to note that Biden checked his watch multiple times at the dignified transfer event, including during the ceremony itself. The rating on this claim has been changed from partly false to missing context.
Hilariously, Funke’s fact-check, which literally was written to check the facts, got the facts completely wrong in an ill-fated attempt to dunk on Republicans for pointing out Biden checked his watch. Much of the article itself has been rewritten as well. Even still, the idea that the claim that Biden checked his watch is “missing context” is laughably false, but hey, small victories I guess.
In short, the fact-checking industry is a joke. The only reason it exists is to serve as a facade for partisan hacks to appear as if they operate from a place of authority. Funke is doing his best to make a name for himself as part of that club, but he’s got a lot of competition.