One reason many Americans don't trust those "fact-checker" websites is because to know them is to see right through their incessantly liberal worldview. These impartial arbiters of truth routinely defend Democrats as being "Mostly True" on everything while savaging Republicans as just the opposite. It's not just Donald Trump, mind you. It's Ted Cruz. And Rick Santorum. And Newt Gingrich. And pretty much anyone who challenges liberal orthodoxy.
So it was maddening that NBC News put its "fact-checker" Jane Timm on the first Democrat debate, who then proclaimed on the "NBC News Now" livestream, "It was a pretty clean debate." No errors? Timm proceeded to support Julian Castro for tying the "tragic death of that father and daughter to Trump's own immigration policies." She added, "And we checked that. It is true!"
Saying that Trump policies kill immigrants is graded as true? That, according to NBC, is a natural consequence of following the rule of law.
MSNBC viewers woke up to Joe Scarborough touting how incredible the Democrats were. "Not only were they talking substantive policy but also making it a very boring night for fact-checkers who haven't slept for two and a half years!" There was laughter and applause from the breakfast crowd he assembled for his show. His wife, Mika Brzezinski, chimed in saying, "They took the night off!" MSNBC analyst Eddie Glaude seconded the emotion, oozing that the Democrats brought "fact-based reality" to their policy talk.
The "independent fact-checkers" at PolitiFact issued seven fact-check tweets during the first debate. Check the tilt of these rulings, delivered after each candidate spoke:
1. Beto O'Rourke: Half True.
2. Cory Booker: True.
3. Booker: Half True.
4. O'Rourke: Half True.
5. Julian Castro: Mostly True.
6. Elizabeth Warren: Mostly True.
7. Booker: Mostly True.
That certainly sounds like taking the night off. Nothing stated by these socialists with their the-Earth-is-dying-and-it's-rich-people's-fault scare tactics was controversial, even questionable?
PolitiFact actually boasted on Twitter during the debate: "We've been fact-checking @ewarren since 2014. She has never received a rating lower than Half True." How is that possible? Easy. For one, PolitiFact has never issued a Truth-O-Meter ruling on Warren's claim of being part Cherokee Indian.
Warren and Cruz were both elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. But from 2012 through 2018, Warren was assessed seven times, all favorably. Cruz was evaluated on 157 statements — roughly 22 times as often! In 2018, as both ran for re-election, PolitiFact evaluated Cruz 16 times ... and Warren zero.
Doesn't this underline how these "independents" think liberals are incapable of dishonesty and conservatives lie once a minute?
Let's give one cheer for The Washington Post Fact Checker, which found several glaring falsehoods in the first debate. Beto O'Rourke claimed that Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid OxyContin, has "been able to act with complete impunity and pay no consequences." Wrong. The Post had reported that in March, the company "agreed to pay a $270 million civil settlement in Oklahoma and faces lawsuits around the country." (FactCheck.org also tagged him on that one.)
Rep. Tim Ryan claimed the top 1 percent in America controls 90 percent of the wealth. The Post team said no, it's 40 percent. Ryan was only wrong by 50 percent!
Our favorite whopper of the night was when Julian Castro asserted that a "trans female" should have a right to an abortion, when a "trans female" is someone who is born male, born without a uterus.
Anyone who gets through a Democrat debate and pronounces that it was "pretty clean," implying every utterance was true, cannot be taken seriously as nonpartisan and independent.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.