Along with changes in what party controls the White House will come changes in how the mainstream media operates.


One such way we’re going to see the media shift gears in the Biden-Harris administration is in how they conduct fact checks. The Washington Post and CNN were two media outlets whose teams monitored President Trump’s claims 24-7 over the last four years, in contrast to the scant attention they gave to Democrats including the 20+ who ran for president in 2019-2020.

WaPo confirmed to the Daily Caller last week that, unlike how they kept a dedicated database of Trump’s claims for four years, they “do not have plans” for a Biden database “at this time”:

Trump’s departure also equals an end to having a false claims project for the current president, as The Post said it does “not have plans to launch a Biden database at this time.” Trump’s database began a month after he became president, The Post’s director of communications Shani George told the Caller.

“The database of Trump claims was started a month after Trump became president as a way to not overwhelm our fact-checking enterprise, where the core mission is to explain complex policy issues,” George said. “While we do not have plans to launch a Biden database at this time, we will continue to dig into the accuracy of statements by political figures of all party affiliations.”

Fox News did a segment on the Washington Post’s statement that there would be no Biden fact-checking database, which greatly triggered CNN’s resident media hall monitor Brian Stelter, who rushed to defend the paper:

Stelter was so eager to white knight for the WaPo that he told a whopper of his own, stating that Biden “doesn’t lie like Trump” and therefore no Biden claims database would be needed:

In another tweet, he reiterated his false claim that there would be “no need” for a Biden database:

Newsbusters’ executive editor Tim Graham provided the necessary translation for what the Washington Post’s plan was in a later tweet:

The news that the Post is not planning on keeping a running database for Biden’s claims came just a week after their lead fact-checker Glenn Kessler told CNN in a segment comparing Biden and Trump that he “assume[s] the Biden presidency will be a lot like the Obama presidency, and that they will be responsive, and will be able to quickly back up what they’re saying”:

GLENN KESSLER: Well, in the case of the Biden-Harris transition team, we asked — we identified five factual statements he made. You know, interesting claims that we wanted to know if they — what was the basis for this. Within 15 minutes, we received citations to those factual statements and they all checked out.

Generally, the Trump White House almost never responded to our queries, because, of course, a lot of what the president said could not be defended or explained in terms of where he got these so- called facts. I assume the Biden — you know, I did five years of Obama, and I assume the Biden presidency will be a lot like the Obama presidency, and that they will be responsive, and will be able to quickly back up what they’re saying. And occasionally, the president will go off- kilter, particularly when he’s, you know, speaking extemporaneously and not following something that previously — has previously been fact-checked.

Watch:

Kessler’s and the Post’s position on keeping track of fact-checking Biden dovetails with how CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale has approached “fact-checking” Biden in the past. For example, here’s how he treated Biden’s lies during one of last year’s presidential debates:

There was also this hot take from Dale during his network’s drive-in Biden town hall last September, where Dale bizarrely claimed that Biden was “implicitly fact checking Trump by…uttering many consecutive coherent sentences”:

And then you have journalism professors like the NYU’s Jay Rosen, who give the green light to treating favored and unfavored politicians differently on fact-checking:

The public should be able to rely on fact-checkers to analyze claims and call them down the line. But they can’t, because this is what fact-checkers have become.

It won’t get any better, either, because the left-leaning audiences they cater to are fine with living in an alternative reality where everything their guy says is “imperfect” but okay while everything the other guy says is a blatant lie and part of some devious plot to deceive the American people.

Respect for fact-checkers at this point is at an all-time low. And they have no one to blame for that but themselves.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

 

 
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