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This Month in Fact Checking

  • by:
  • Source: Bongino
  • 10/03/2022
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The fact checkers' war on reality has continued unabated this month.

Here's just a few things they managed to spin.  

The Great Martha's Vineyard Invasion 

In response to Governor Ron DeSantis sending illegal aliens (who are technically classified as asylum seekers) to Martha’s Vineyard, and the hilariously hypocritical response that followed, PolitiFact’s Madison Czopek attempted to provide some damage control for the understandably embarrassed residents of the island. 

In response to a social media post mocking the island’s virtue signaling residents for “deporting 50 illegals after only 24 hours,” Czopek rated the claim false on the basis that the illegals couldn’t be “deported” because the word “deported” means removal from the country as a whole, not from a particular area.

Of course, anyone using the term “deported” in this context is well aware of this, and it using it as a synonym for "removed." You can bet that just about every Republican mocking Martha's Vineyard for "deporting" these illegals is also outraged that they are in fact just being relocated, not actually deported from the country.  

While Czopek is grasping at straws here, she at least didn't embarrass herself by trying to argue that this wasn't true because the illegals were actually deported after nearly 48 hours, not "just" 24. 

Meanwhile, also at PolitiFact, Gabrielle Settles rated it only “half true” that Martha’s Vineyard "was a sanctuary city until the buses arrived" with dubious reasoning. 

Like Czopek, Settles begins with semantics by telling us what we already know, that Martha’s Vineyard is an island and not itself a city. This basically amounts to complaining that people aren’t being more specific and calling it a “sanctuary island,” even though the policies of that “sanctuary” would be identical. 

Making a point of slightly more substance, Settles points out that of the six towns on the island, only three did vote to adopt sanctuary policies (which was in 2017). This would be relevant if the illegals arrived on one of the three towns that didn’t adopt sanctuary (island) policies, but they stayed in Edgartown, which was one of the three to vote to become a sanctuary (though apparently not for longer than 48 hours). 

Spending Cuts and Hypothetical Spending Cuts

Joe Biden twisted a statement from Senator Ron Johnson on mandatory vs. discretionary spending to make it look like he supports cutting Social Security and Medicare, despite never explicitly falling for cutting the programs, and PolitiFact rated Biden's spin "mostly true."

PolitiFact’s Madeline Heim rated “mostly true” Biden's statement that Johnson “wants to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every single year.”

Heim notes that Johnson said in a radio interview last August that he believes all federal spending should be discretionary and reviewed by Congress every year. The federal government will spend just over $6 trillion this year and most of it is in the category of “mandatory spending,” while only about $1.7 trillion (28%) is discretionary spending, and can be modified.

During the radio interview, Johnson explained that he believed converting all spending into discretionary spending would allow fiscally challenged programs to be fixed. "If you qualify for the entitlement you just get it, no matter what the cost. And our problem in this country is that more than 70% of our federal budget, of our federal spending, is all mandatory spending. It’s on automatic pilot. It never … you just don’t do proper oversight. You don’t get in there and fix the programs going bankrupt," he told host Joe Giganti.

Heim acknowledges that Johnson never called for cutting social security and medicare, but said that because making them eligible for being cut as a consequence of being converted into discretionary spending, that the claim is thus “mostly true.” A hypothetical consequence of a policy is thus treated as its intended goal. 

Florida's Faux-Whistleblower Finally Gets a Mention.... but Not for Her Lies

Rebekah Jones made a name for herself in the early days of the COVID-era, and was single-handedly responsible for popularizing conspiracy theories about Florida covering up COVID deaths. She’s now running for Congress in Florida, and is projected to lose massively to incumbent Matt Gaetz.

Jones (falsely) claimed to have been fired from her position at the Florida Department of Health for refusing to manipulate data to support the state reopening, and after that was heralded as a “whistleblower” in the media, making appearances on CNN, MSNBC, and countless local Florida news outlets.  

The results of an Inspector General investigation that concluded earlier this year found no evidence of wrongdoing in response to the allegations from Jones, which were described as  “unsubstantiated” and “unfounded.”  

Oddly, the fact checkers seemed to entirely have missed the complete implosion of a media narrative that generated substantial attention, and is still widely believed by many gullible liberals today.
 
PolitiFact finally did mention Jones in an article this month - but it was to debunk a photo Rep. Gaetz shared of a nearly empty table that he mockingly said was a Jones campaign event. There was no mention of any of Jones’ hundreds of media appearances where she spread a now-debunked lie. 

Matt Palumbo is the author of The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros
 


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