The Post Finally 'Fact-Checks' Biden's Wild Stories, and It's as Pathetic as You'd Expect

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Joe Biden has been on a bit of a run recently, telling a tale about his house supposedly almost burning down as a way to connect with devastated victims in Maui and Florida. 


As the story goes, Biden almost lost his wife, his Corvette, and his cat in a towering inferno some years ago in Delaware. In reality, it was a small kitchen fire that was put out within 20 minutes. That's just one example of the former president's many tall tales, though. There are so many of them that you'd think the intrepid industry of "fact-checkers" would have a continual pipeline of material.

Unfortunately, that's not how the press corps works. Instead, what you end up with is years of completely ignoring Biden's lies followed by the occasional catch-all piece in between election years. Lo and behold, that's exactly what we just got from Glenn Kessler and The Washington Post. 

The article is exactly what you'd expect. It's a pathetic attempt to get on record that "we covered it" while completely glossing over Biden's falsehoods. In fact, Kessler only uses the word "lie" a single time, and that's only to describe accusations from others. 

Speaking to survivors of the devastating Maui fire on Aug. 21, Biden recalled how lightning had once struck a pond outside his home, sparking a fire. “To make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette and my cat,” he said, adding, “all kidding aside.”

But throughout his career — most famously in his first presidential campaign, in the 1988 election cycle — Biden’s propensity to exaggerate or embellish tales about his life led to doubts about his truthfulness. Contemporary news reports on the house fire do not match his telling of it, fanning criticism that he had lied to a vulnerable audience.

“Joe Biden shared his life — or his version of it — continuously,” wrote Richard Ben Cramer in his 1992 book, “What It Takes,” about the 1988 campaign. “He confided it, displayed it, spread it profligately, even expanded it to connect it with your life. He would settle for nothing less.”


Kessler's choice to include that ridiculous quote from a Biden sycophant, essentially claiming that Bidne's lies are somehow a positive is your first clue. How many of his Trump fact-checks included quotes from the former president's most ardent supporters explaining how lying is good actually? I would suspect the answer is none. 

Getting into the meat of the article, Kessler's presentation isn't much better. For example, here's what he had to say about a stunning case in which Biden claimed to have given a Purple Heart to an uncle in 2009 who, in fact, died in 1999. 

Speaking to veterans in December, Biden recalled how his Uncle Frank fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart but never received it. He said that after he became vice president in 2009, he arranged to present the medal to his uncle with the rest of the family in attendance. But his uncle, Frank H. Biden, died in 1999, a decade before Biden became vice president. Neither his obituary nor tombstone mentions a Purple Heart, awarded when a soldier is killed or wounded while serving.

I don't know about you, but if I'm a fact-checker and the president claims to have held an in-person ceremony to award a medal to a ghost, I'd be a little more curious. I wouldn't just leave it at a single paragraph. I'd probably ask for some kind of explanation from the White House. Keep in mind, we had a never-ending stream of thousand-plus word fact-checks written about every random thing Trump said. When it comes to Biden, though, all the lies get shoved into a single article while not actually being labeled as lies. 


As another example, here's how Kessler deals with the oft-repeated Amtrak lie. 

But it’s not possible this conversation took place as Biden describes. Negri and Biden were friends, according to a CNN interview with Negri’s stepdaughter in 2021, and she said Negri “adored” Biden. But Biden did not pass the 1.2 million-mile mark until 2016; Negri retired from Amtrak in 1993, 16 years before Biden became vice president. Negri died in 2014, two years before Biden claims they had this conversation.

In 2009, after Biden became vice president, Esquire described a “Heeeey, Joey baby!” conversation with an unnamed conductor, suggesting Biden may be mixing up Negri with another person.

There's a word for making up stories and repeating them no less than ten times. It's called "lying." Yet, once again, Kessler goes out of his way to not make any hard and fast accusations while even offering a counter-explanation. You know, because people "mix up" the same person ten times. 

Throughout the article, Kessler describes Biden's stories as "evolving" or not "adding up" as opposed to being "false" or "lies." That's as harsh as he manages to get, and it's obvious why he shoved a litany of lies into a single piece framed in the tamest of ways. He wanted to be able to say he's fact-checked them when they inevitably become more of an issue during the presidential election.


You may also have noticed if you clicked the link that Kessler completely skipped his "Pinnochio" grading system in which he assigns between one and four "Pinnochios" to denote how egregious a lie is. I'm sure that was just an oversight. 


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