Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Once upon a time, the media used fact checkers to check its own facts before publishing a story. And then the media stopped checking its facts and started smearing everyone else.
The media’s false claim that Russia had somehow rigged the 2016 election to help President Trump win with “disinformation” became the basis for a media movement pressuring Big Tech to let the media’s fact checking censors silence conservatives with their ‘fact checking’.
Even as the media discarded all of its remaining standards, it claimed truth as its standard.
“This is an apple. Some people might try and tell you that it’s a banana,” CNN lectured viewers. “They might scream banana, banana, banana over and over and over again.”
At the Washington Post, which had declared war on President Trump early on, fact checking became its own industry. Glenn Kessler, the head of the Post’s fact checking team, and two junior members published a book last year titled, Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth. It was the last hurrah for the team which shut down its presidential fact checking operation in 2021
But Kessler and the Post continued touting its fake database claiming that President Trump had made “30,573 false or misleading claims” even while making it clear that the game had changed. When Joe Biden falsely claimed that there was no vaccine when he came into office, Kessler insisted that it was a “verbal stumble, a typical Biden gaffe”, but not false or a lie.
Whether it’s an apple or a banana, truth or a lie, is a matter of the media’s opinion and agenda.
But the Democrat media fact checking machine wasn’t just applying different standards, it was a key element of the effort to elect Biden by suppressing President Trump’s exposure of his corruption. Dig into the “30,573 false or misleading claims” around the election and you’ll find the Washington Post’s fact checkers working overtime to cover up Biden’s corrupt dealings while falsely repeating the old Democrat claims about President Trump and the 2016 election.
That’s why the David Horowitz Freedom Center dug into a sample of false Washington Post fact checks from before the election on November 1 that were used to rig the election.
“Joe Biden is a corrupt politician who sold out to… China… he’s vice president, his son’s like a human vacuum cleaner. He follows his father and he takes the scraps,” President Trump had warned. “We’re putting a corrupt man up for possibly being elected.”
“Without evidence, Trump has repeatedly claimed Biden is the head of an organized crime family and a corrupt politician,” the Post‘s fact checkers complained. They falsely insisted that “no evidence has emerged of corruption and shady dealings” and that there was also no evidence that “Joe Biden was involved in his son’s business activities”.
That was in November. The previous month had already exposed some of Hunter’s dirty dealings and connected them to Joe Biden via a mention of the “big guy” which Tony Bobulinski, the former CEO of Sinohawk Holdings, said was indeed a reference to the Democrat candidate.
The Washington Post was aware of the allegations, but chose to suppress them except when President Trump brought them up at the debate, when it went on the attack to suppress them.
Meanwhile its fact checkers falsely insisted that there was no evidence because they ignored it.
When the Post then fact checked President Trump specifically quoting the “big guy gets 10%” line, it dismissed it based on a claim by Biden, by his campaign spokesman, and assorted other media outlets operating in the same echo chamber without ever addressing Bobulinski’s claims.
“Then he gets $3.5 million from the mayor of Moscow’s wife. 3.5 million. Well, gee, Hunter, what did you do? What did you do? You gave her some big advice, I guess, Hunter, right?” President Trump said.
The Post sicced its fact checkers to play spin doctor even though the information about the payment to Rosemont Seneca had appeared in the Senate Homeland Security Committee report, the Post fact check argued that the report “does not allege any illegality in the transaction” and quoted Hunter Biden’s lawyer denying any ties to Rosemont Seneca.
The Post’s fact checkers didn’t bother fact checking Hunter’s lawyer. Instead they used him as a source whose factual authority, unlike that of President Trump and his people, was unquestioned. The Biden fact checking exemption at the Post also applied to his son’s lawyer.
But Politico had reported in 2019 that Hunter and Kerry’s stepson had “formed a variety of investment-focused firms under the name Rosemont Seneca.” That reporting was never withdrawn even as the Post and media fact checks attacked President Trump for citing it.
Instead the Post and media fact checkers continued to attack President Trump’s exposure of Hunter Biden by citing as their definitive factual source… Hunter Biden’s lawyer.
The Post’s fact checkers falsely gave four pinocchios to an accusation by President Trump about Hunter Biden, “and then they go to China, he takes out $1.5 billion to manage.”
“The Washington Post Fact Checker has dismantled this conspiracy theory,” Biden’s campaign spokesman bragged, showing off the linkage between the campaign and its fact checking allies.
What was the Post’s factual source for “dismantling” the $1.5 billion figure? Hunter Biden’s lawyer. The Biden campaign was praising the Post for quoting Hunter Biden’s lawyer.
The source of the original figure was a 2014 article from the Wall Street Journal’s financial coverage with a quote mentioning that, “The fund—launched by Chinese asset managers Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management Co. and Harvest Fund Management Co. alongside U.S. investment and advisory firms Rosemont Seneca Partners and Thornton Group LLC—started fundraising in the second quarter, and has raised its target to $1.5 billion.”
The Washington Post (and the Wall Street Journal) chose to ignore a direct quote from a spokesman at Bank of China International Holdings and instead touted Hunter’s lawyer.
That’s what fact checking at the Washington Post looks like.
The funniest of the Post’s fact checks followed President Trump’s exposure of Biden’s corruption in which he said that, “Because we have freedom of the press, but we don’t. We have suppression by the press. It’s suppression. And if anybody even mentions that story — You don’t see that story in The New York Times.” The Post hilariously retorted, “Most news organizations have standards and will not print allegations without attempting to confirm them first.”
That would come as real news because the Washington Post had spent 4 years falsely spreading disinformation alleging that President Trump was a Russian agent. Even in 2021, the Post is still running pieces falsely promoting claims that “Trump is a Kremlin asset” that conclude with, “We know that Trump was compromised, but we’re not sure exactly how”.
Those are the Post’s standards.
The Washington Post fact checked something that was a fact, protested that it won’t print allegations without confirming them, and then disproved that by printing the same bizarre nonsense about President Trump being a Kremlin asset without confirming it.
But while the Washington Post’s intrepid fact checkers were happy to rely on Hunter Biden’s lawyer to clear him, they were just as happy to keep on pushing the Russia hoax, launching fake fact checks of President Trump’s assertions that, “we were under investigation for three years. And it turned out to be a phony hoax” and “No collusion….They found no collusion”.
The Post has no response to this except to repeat the same false claims by Mueller’s team of Democrats that “the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome”. There is zero evidence that the Russian government either wanted to elect President Trump (Republicans are invariably harsher on foreign enemies than Democrats and that remained true under the Trump administration despite media smears). And there is even less evidence that the Russians did anything to “secure that outcome”.
The Democrat conspiracy theory about the election, falsely promoted by the media, relied on Russian Facebook ads, the vast majority of which targeted black people after the election.
But, like Biden and Hunter Biden’s lawyer, the Mueller Democrats mustn’t be fact checked.
Instead, the Washington Post fact check attacks President Trump for pointing out that the Mueller team was a partisan hack job.
“They had eighteen angry Democrat prosecutors. … So we had 18 angry, crooked Democrats. You had Bob Mueller that didn’t have a clue,” President Trump argued. The Post’s fact checkers gave it 3 pinocchios because only “eleven out of 16 attorneys on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team made public so far have contributed to Democrats” while “the other five have no record of political contributions, though the Daily Caller says 13 are registered Democrats.”
Hunter Biden’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.
Finally, the Washington Post decided to fact check the following statement by President Trump.
“The media is fake and corrupt. Big tech controls the media, and they control the politicians.”
The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos who was at the time the CEO of Amazon. Big Tech literally owns the fact checkers who are fact checking the statement that they’re owned by Big Tech. And the Post’s fact checkers responded with, “This is loony conspiracy-theory stuff.”
Actually if the Post fact checkers wanted to see “loony conspiracy-theory stuff”, they could read their own paper which began hilariously claiming that their owner’s nude photos were hacked by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. If anyone doubted that Big Tech controls the Post, all they had to do was look at a paper that was trying to spin its owner’s embarrassing adultery scandal as an international conspiracy because it would help them keep their jobs at his newspaper.
“Joe Biden is bought and paid for by big tech, big media, and powerful specialist interests,” President Trump said. The Post’s fact checkers complained that, “Without evidence, Trump suggests Biden is guilty of corruption because he is raising so much more money”.
$2.6 million of Biden’s cash came from Amazon employees. The Big Tech company has also announced that it would suspend donations to Republicans who challenged Biden’s election, and hired the brother of one of Biden’s campaign chair to lobby for the monopoly.
There’s plenty of corruption in both the Biden camp and the Washington Post’s fact checkers.
The biggest contribution from Amazon to the Biden campaign may have come from the Washington Post. The tendentious lies and smears of its editorials posing as news and its spin posing as fact checking helped cover up Biden’s corruption while tearing down President Trump.
How much was that contribution to the Biden campaign worth? Let’s look at two numbers.
Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for the Washington Post. As I previously noted, “Amazon’s federal contract revenues rose from $200 million in 2014 to $2 billion now.” President Trump then played a role in denying Amazon the $10 billion military cloud contract it wanted. How much did the Washington Post’s fake fact checks put Amazon into a position to potentially reclaim it?
When the Washington Post’s hacks tout their false claim that President Trump had lied or misled 30,573 times, the relevant number is the $250 million or $10 billion behind that lie.
The Washington Post’s fact checks are audaciously dishonest, malicious, and untrustworthy.
“The final count. Never would have believed this number was possible when we started four years ago,” Glenn Kessler, the Post’s top fact checker tweeted, about the 30,573 number.
It’s easy to get to 30,573 when media hacks mangle the truth, treat political differences as lies, and use double standards to pursue the media’s agenda of attacking conservatives for the Left.
Now you know how much the Washington Post’s fake 30,573 fact checks are worth.