In order to coddle and defend Biden, the fact-checkers in the media avoid facts and pesky details.
They have long been seen as an agitprop tool of the press, a biased manner to legitimize a desired media narrative — now the fact-checkers have made their inconsequence official. When most of the journalists have lapsed into their four-year vacation mode, Joe Biden, by being a walking gaffe machine, has made life difficult on these select members of the press. In their need to creatively come up with escape clauses for Joe, they end up having to work harder at their assigned duty — burnishing Biden’s image — than actually doing fact-checking.
The CNN-hosted town hall staged for the president on Thursday provoked this overtime work. Things were so bad that White House figures on social media were correcting things Biden said during the event, as he meandered away from preset talking points and common sense. You can only imagine the job facing the media cheerleaders, trying to distract the fans from an offense putting up negative yardage, and enforcing policies with the dexterity of a Mark Sanchez butt-fumble.
Two primary examples from Thursday have been the focus of these viscounts of verite’ — a Biden claim that he has visited the southern border, and whether or not during his appearance the President flashed a white power hand signal. The first is obvious, the second ridiculous, and the lengths these truth-sayers have descended to appear as if they are doing their jobs is remarkable. To begin we will look at the second, asinine example.
At one point in his presentation, between odd whispering, Biden made mention of his spending bill. Priced out into the trillions of dollars, Biden and the administration have been insisting the plan will have no cost impact on the country. To bolster his point Biden made his fingers into a circle, held them up to his eye, in order to show another claim — that companies are not paying any taxes. Politifact jumped to the fore, to inform people that those on social media claiming he was flashing a white power symbol were completely incorrect, and then Reuters joined in on the clown show.
U.S. President Joe Biden's hand gesture at a CNN town hall in Baltimore did not indicate white power, contrary to claims on social media. He made the hand gesture while saying corporations pay “zero cents”, in response to a question about tax rates https://t.co/IBNSPVhjmJ pic.twitter.com/86283pZlVh
— Reuters Fact Check (@ReutersFacts) October 23, 2021
The idiocy behind this is layered, of course. To start, for years it has been the media who have been behind the effort to make this basic hand position into a symbol of hate. Throughout the Trump years, any innocuous example of this gesture has been proposed to have been an effort to display a ‘white power’ message — and not from accounts in the general public, but from media outlets. After years of mockery for this by pointing out the whole claim was a gag from the 4-Chan website that the press was duped into believing; Now, Reuters is willing to acknowledge this is the case, to excuse Biden. Sheer hackery.
According to the Anti-Defamation League…an “okay” gesture, has been linked to white nationalism since 2017 after hoax posts in 4chan promoted the gesture as a hate symbol.
Even the excuse made by the outlets of the gesture indicting a number does not hold up to prior accusations seen in the press. This past Spring a contestant on the game show Jeopardy was scorched as a supremacist, all because he flashed three fingers on camera following his having won three times. Now the press is faced with rules of their own making, and being forced to change the parameters to suit their desires.
As for Biden’s claim of having visited the border, it is a more serious issue, but the checkers make a more ridiculous leap of logic. The charge, and the intent, concerns the President not having been the area embroiled in a crisis since he took office. The White House offered up a laughable explanation; Joe did in fact travel to the border, kinda sorta, in a way, some time ago.
Doocy: "I want to follow up on something else the president said last night. Why did president Biden say he's been to the border.
Psaki: Well, Peter, as you may have seen, there's been reporting that he did drive through the border when he was on the campaign trail in 2008." pic.twitter.com/0pPtu2oneC
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 22, 2021
So a drive-by in 2008 is sufficient to qualify as a rational explanation. At the Washington Post their guru of veracity, Glenn Kessler, looked into this matter and declared there was enough of a grey area that when it came to his famed Pinocchio-rating he would not be issuing one.
It turns out it was a brief drive-by — not the kind of sustained visit that his critics are demanding. It’s almost like counting a refueling stop as a visit to a country. But it’s enough that we will leave this Unrated.
Following suit in the wan defense was CNN’s Daniel Dale, regurgitating the White House spin and delivering it as solid enough proof.
Daniel Dale has bailed out the President.
He was near the border while in a limo 13 years ago, so this qualifies as caring about the border crisis. https://t.co/BTMTQxiGml
— Brad Slager – At The Nadir of My Expectations (@MartiniShark) October 22, 2021
Here is where these brave verifiers went off the rails. In their desire to say that “technically” Biden has been near the border, and therefore has not “technically” lied about it, they have to avoid a central fact; at the town hall, he had been asked specifically by an audience member about going to the border during his term as president. “Given that it’s nearly been a year into your campaign, why haven’t you been to the southern border of our country?” That was the framing of the question, and it is completely avoided by the team of Kessler & Dale.
What is notable in these pathetic correction attempts is the level of avoidance needed to deliver these impotent fact-checks. By focusing on whether the president made a racist gesture or a ‘zero’ sign, they do not have to dig into his claims of corporations paying “zero taxes,” or that his massive spending package would cost the country zero dollars. Those efforts require work and research, and the results are likely involved and notably negative in the results.
As they pored over travel logs to find a date when Biden was in the same zip code as the border it kept them busy enough to avoid looking at serious data. So busy were they with campaign trip vouchers that they had no time to look into the numbers of detained immigrants, how many illegals have poured over the border, or the amount of unvaccinated and positive-testing arrivals who have faded into the populace.
This is the useless nature of these fact-checkers. They pose as doing the assigned work, but by focusing on the minutia of stories — Flowers were not trampled, it was just grass — they justify ignoring the damage of the rampaging elephant-level stories. This underscores the flaccid nature of these adjunct departments in media. If the press was dutifully reporting on stories properly, using the facts, there would be no need for fact-checkers.
That these designed offices <still cannot find a way to employ the facts shows how bad our media complex had slid the past few generations.