To Defend Biden Politifact Fact Checks an Obvious Internet Meme

The entry of Joe Biden into the field of presidential aspirants was always going to make for lively blogging…how could the son of a coal miner not be interesting. And when he’s not plagiarizing other people’s life stories he is still amusing.

Or even outrageous

https://youtu.be/UWNvry6o-Ww

But nothing has created amusement to the degree of the confluence of the #MeToo movement and Biden’s “hands on” politicking with the Internet meme. Behold!

Now, one of these memes has led to a news organization gratuitously beclowning itself.

If you recall, this meme came out of the Kavanaugh hearing. Lindsey Graham was a stalwart defender of Justice Kavanaugh and once he was trailed by #MeToo harpies shouting at him. It resulted in this epic meme.

That generated this:

Free use courtesy of KnowYourMeme https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/1418923-lindsey-graham-dgaf

 

For reasons that remain unclear, Politifact, a place that, were there any sense of cosmic justice and immediate retribution, should be learning to code, decided to “fact check” the meme.

In one picture, posted on Facebook on March 31, Biden appears to be kissing a woman a few feet behind U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. But the image is doctored, and the post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The original image is a still of a video by Daily Caller columnist Benny Johnson. Johnson recorded Graham walking away from a woman protesting Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, according to Johnson’s Oct. 5 story. Biden is not in the picture.

In the doctored photo, the woman has her mouth open like she is screaming or gasping in surprise. But watching the recording, it’s clear she’s yelling at Graham.

“We are voting you out of office,” she says as Graham adjusts his tie and smiles for the camera.

A screenshot of that moment has become a meme (examples here and here). But commenters on the Facebook post seem to believe the doctored photo with Biden is authentic.

The overarching point here, of course, to the Vichy Conservatives and libertarians who think Facebook (and other social media) should have the right to enforce viewpoint discrimination, is that Facebook uses a fairly obvious political operation to vet what is real and what isn’t. That really isn’t a good look. But even if you subscribe to the idea that the left should be able to ban conservative conversation, it is absurd that any serious organization would fact check an internet meme.

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