A Who’s Who of conservative leaders have joined a campaign being launched by Brent Bozell, chief of the Media Research Center, and the Free Speech Alliance to blast PolitiFact’s actions as a so-called “fact-checker.”
The group, which includes Jessica Anderson of Heritage Action, commentator Dan Bongino, Floyd Brown of Western Journal, Sen. Jim DeMint of Conservative Partnership Institute, Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, Bill Donohoe of the Catholic League, Lady Brigitte Gabriel of ACT For America and both Founder Joseph Farah and Managing Editor David Kupelian of WND, has dispatched a letter to Director Baybars Orsek of the International Fact-Checking Network.
The letter requests that PolitiFact be “removed” from the network for “violating IFCN’s Code of Principles.”
— MediaResearchCenter (@theMRC) August 25, 2021
The letter was published on the MRC’s Newsbusters site.
The letter charges that “the actions of one of the members of the International Fact-Checking Network” now are under “challenge.”
“In its role as a ‘fact-checker,’ PolitiFact has crossed a bright line, deliberately stifling free speech online and pursuing a blatant, anti-conservative political agenda. Those actions have ominous repercussions and clearly violate IFCN’s Code of Principles,” they explain.
For example, the letter notes, “PolitiFact falsely fact-checked a graphic, posted by the Media Research Center (MRC) showing the COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the United States. The graphic was a copy from the CDC, to which MRC gave clear attribution. In the post containing the graphic, MRC also linked to a blog, which included more information regarding the current threat of COVID-19 in the United States. The blog we linked to provided full context for the information provided in the graphic. PolitiFact flagged the graphic as ‘partly-false,’ and put a ‘FALSE’ stamp over the graphic. Then in its own piece, it said context was missing. Those are three different — and incorrect — allegations all in one piece. This is an egregious, unmerited and overtly biased action against a viewpoint the liberal PolitiFact disagrees with.”
That’s not acceptable for a “fact-checker,” because that means, “PolitiFact has enormous influence on the content that users and organizations are allowed to post on Facebook. PolitiFact is, at its core, a partisan operation. It is deliberately attempting to manipulate the online public conversation by quashing conservative viewpoints on social media.”
The signers demand that IFCN remove PolitiFact from its list of approved fact-checkers and further, that Facebook do the same.
“This is long overdue,” the letter said.
That’s because, it explains in detail:
- “In July of 2021, PolitiFact tagged as FALSE that: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ‘distrusted COVID-19 vaccines’ in 2020. PolitiFact’s aggressive defense of Biden and Harris was exposed recently when PolitiFact tagged as ‘False’ a Tik-Tok video that ‘Says Joe Biden and Kamala Harris distrusted COVID-19 vaccines.’ In fact, both President Biden and Vice President Harris did voice their distrust of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- “PolitiFact has failed to create a page for Jen Psaki, Joe Biden’s press secretary. It blatantly refuses to fact-check her, even when she outrageously suggested that her political opponents favored defunding the police.
- “PolitiFact dealt a ‘Pants on Fire’ determination for Tucker Carlson for a guest interview in September stating that COVID-19 came from a Wuhan lab and was released with malicious intent. It retracted this designation in May 2021, long after the election.
- “PolitiFact gave former Georgia Senator David Perdue a ‘Pants on Fire’ rating for characterizing Jon Ossoff as a ‘socialist,’ but failed to give a ‘Pants on Fire’ to President Biden for labeling voting integrity laws ‘Jim Crow.’
- PolitiFact gave Josh Holmes, the former chief of staff for Sen. Mitch McConnell, a ‘Mostly False’ label when he correctly stated that ‘A Georgia law has not ‘criminalized giving people bottles of water.’ It pertains to political organizations.’
- “In March, PolitiFact stated that former Vice President Mike Pence was ‘False’ concerning two statements on election integrity, but at that point had not evaluated current Vice President Kamala Harris’s statements since September.
The letter warns that PolitiFact “is not an unbiased legitimate fact-checker. Especially, according to IFCN’s ‘Code of Principles.'”
Those, in detail, include commitments to nonpartisanship and fairness, transparency of sources, transparency of funding & organization, commitment to transparency of methodology and commitment to open & honest corrections.
Pointing out that the federal government, at the same time, is making a “huge push” to censor online content that it contends is “disinformation,” PolitiFact’s actions when joined with the feds’ “Orwellian behavior” poses “an existential threat to our free and open society,” the letter said.
Other signers included James Allen of SpeechMovement,org, Saul Anuzis of 60 Plus Association, Guillermo Aragon of Corbere Partners, Ryan Bomberger of The Radiance Foundation, Brian S. Brown of International Organization for the Family, Joseph Chalfant of Lone Conservative, Lourdes Cosio of Campaign for the American Future, Seth Dillon of Babylon Bee, Steve Ertelt of LifeNews.com, Becky Gerritson of Eagle Forum of Alabama, Paul Gessing of Rio Grande Foundation, Kay Coles James of Heritage Foundation, Raheem Kassam of Human Events, and nearly two dozen more.
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