Whether the product of a carefully coordinated propaganda campaign or an innocent mistake by a journalist or social media user, misinformation is inevitable. Because of this, many “fact-checkers” have popped up as their own entities, like Snopes (Lean Left bias), or as part of an existing outlet like National Review (Right bias).
These sites aim to get to the bottom of sensational claims that may or may not be true. But sometimes, they become part of the problem.
At AllSides, we’ve highlighted the types of bias fact-checkers are most prone to, and developed a Fact Check Bias Chart™ so readers can easily identify bias and similarities in fact-checking coverage.
Each week, we’ll deliver a brief summary of notable fact checks and adjacent coverage across the media spectrum.
From the Left
A fact check from The Washington Post highlighted a 2020 presidential debate between Former President Donald Trump and President Biden in which Biden claimed that his son, Hunter Biden, had not made any money from China, and “the only guy who made money from China” is Donald Trump.
The Post noted that in court testimony last week, Hunter Biden said he had been paid significant amounts of money in China. It notes that there is no evidence to suggest President Biden received benefits from Hunter’s dealings, despite Republicans investigating the possibility.
The Post gave President Biden’s comments four Pinocchios.
From the Center
A fact check from Fact.Check.org, which is run by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, highlighted a recently circulated GETTR post (though did not link or directly mention GETTR by name).
The post falsely claimed President Biden cut $250 million in funding that President Trump pledged to give Historically Black Colleges and Universities. FactCheck.org says the claim originally made its rounds on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in 2021.
FactCheck.org noted the FUTURE Act, which President Trump signed in 2019, that permanently provided $255 million annually to HBCUs — renewing funding that had lapsed after Congress didn’t renew it. The fact-checker also noted that federal funding of HBCUs has increased every year under the Biden Administration, partly thanks to $2.7 billion from Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
From the Right
In a recently published opinion, Townhall Political Editor Guy Benson critiqued “scurrilous claims” made by “the Left” and Former President Donald Trump that took aim at Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Benson noted a New York Times (Lean Left bias) analysis from July 22, which he says was a “hit piece” that “burie(d) the lede.” The Times criticized DeSantis for losing enthusiasm for the COVID-19 vaccine before the Delta variant wave of July 2021 hit, which it said contributed to a September 2021 spike in the state’s per capita deaths — a “grim chapter he now leaves out of his rosy retelling of his pandemic response.”
Benson cited this snippet from the Times article as undermining many of the criticisms of Florida’s pandemic response:
Overall, the state’s death rate during the pandemic, adjusted for age, ended up better than the national average.
Benson highlighted a 2022 National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) study of how states handled the COVID-19 pandemic shared by The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board (Lean Right bias), which ranked Florida sixth in a “combined score measured by economy, education and mortality.”
This piece was reviewed by Henry A. Brechter, Editor-in-chief (Center bias), Julie Mastrine, Director of Marketing and Media Bias Ratings (Lean Right bias), and Joseph Ratliff, Daily News Editor (Lean Left bias).