Once upon a time, the media used to fact check its own stories. It doesn’t anymore. Instead it redeployed “fact checking” as a tool of editorial commentary and censorship. The former basically allows the media to spout any ideological claim it likes and disguise it as a fact check or explainer. The latter embeds these fact checks into social media services like Facebook to censor the actual facts.
After Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s disastrous launch of the Green New Deal misfired with its war on planes and cows, the media rushed to clean up the mess. Part of the cleanup duty fell to the media fact checkers who began shouting that it never happened.
To understand just how fake these “fact checks” are, let’s go back to the media’s own reporting before its cover-up.
Forget conservative sites. Let’s start with NPR.
In addition, the framework, as described in the legislation as well as a blog post — containing an updated version of “FAQs” provided to NPR by Ocasio-Cortez’s office — calls for a variety of other lofty goals:..
“Overhauling transportation systems” to reduce emissions — including expanding electric car manufacturing, building “charging stations everywhere,” and expanding high-speed rail to “a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary”;
According to Jesse Jenkins, a postdoctoral environmental fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School, that may be an unreachable goal.
“Where we need to be targeting really is a net-zero carbon economy by about 2050, which itself is an enormous challenge and will require reductions in carbon emissions much faster than have been achieved historically,” he said. “2030 might be a little bit early to be targeting.”
Similarly, removing combustible engines from the roads or expanding high-speed rail to largely eliminate air travel would require nothing short of revolutionizing transportation.
This was the general mainstream media reporting. Then the cover-up began. Followed by the Orwellian doublethink fact checks.
Here’s Politifact accusing Senator Rick Scott of lying for describing what was actually in the Green New Deal FAQ.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., outlined his opposition to the Democrats’ Green New Deal in a Feb. 25th Orlando Sentinel op-ed:
“If you are not familiar with it, here’s the cliff notes version: It calls for rebuilding or retrofitting every building in America in the next 10 years, eliminating all fossil fuels in 10 years, eliminating nuclear power, and working towards ending air travel (to be replaced with high-speed rail).”
Politifact falsely rates Scott’s statement as false even though it eventually admits that it’s in the FAQ, but then claims that the FACT is unimportant.
Let’s hit the brakes right there — do the Democrats want to end air travel?
We found that Scott is ignoring the actual text of the resolution. The resolution does not ground airplanes, either now or in the future. And climate advocates told us the elimination of air travel isn’t a practical goal.
Addressing the explanatory documents for a resolution does not ignore the text of the resolution. This is again Orwellian spin.
In typical fact checking fashion, Politifact selects a narrow political angle and ignores the actual facts.
A frequently asked questions, or FAQ, document mentioned airplanes twice, stating (emphasis ours) “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.”
The FAQ also called for the United States to “totally overhaul transportation by massively expanding electric vehicle manufacturing, build charging stations everywhere, build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary, create affordable public transit available to all, with goal to replace every combustion-engine vehicle.”
… but, Politifact insists that we should ignore the FAQ.
Experts on climate change say it’s important to focus on the language in the actual resolution and not the FAQ, which carries no weight.
Experts on climate change say to ignore the facts and focus on something else.
That’s not a fact. That’s spin. It’s a perspective.
Politifact accuses Senator Rick Scott of making a false statement by citing the actual FAQ’s opposition to air travel.
This is how anti-factual the fact checkers are.
FactCheck, the Washington Post and other media fact checkers have been repeating the same bizarre talking point which claims that the language used by Rep. Ocasio Cortez and her office doesn’t matter, mentioning anything other than the text of the resolution is a “false” statement.
That’s not how true and false works.
If media fact checkers applied the same standard, they would have rated anyone who described President Trump’s travel ban as a “Muslim ban” as making a false statement, because nowhere in the text does it mention a Muslim ban.
But the media isn’t following a standard. It’s following an agenda. And so it insists that the truth is a lie.