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Douglas Andrews / September 6, 2021

‘Fact-Checker’ Smears Gold Star Parents

In the end, though, not even the hyper-partisan “fact-checker” at USA Today could protect Joe Biden from himself.

Last week, we reported on Facebook and Instagram having hit rock-bottom when they censored a Gold Star mom. Now it’s the “fact-checkers’” turn.

We’ve known for some time that the mainstream media’s “fact-checking” industry was a deeply partisan operation — one whose sole purpose is to protect the Left and its prevailing narratives against damaging truths. And what truth could be more damaging than that of a Democrat commander-in-chief repeatedly checking his watch during the most solemn of events — the transfer ceremony of 13 fallen warriors at Dover Air Force base?

Enter USA Today’s resident “fact-checker,” Daniel Funke, who tried to ride to Joe Biden’s rescue when he all but called multiple Gold Star parents liars for having correctly noted that Biden checked his watch multiple times during the transfer ceremony.

“Partially false,” said Funke, whose original post and an accompanying tweet said the claim that Biden had checked his watch was “misleading.” He argued that Biden “had properly honored the fallen soldiers and only checked his watch after the ceremony had ended.”

Outrage ensued, as did the publication of multiple photos of Biden having checked his watch numerous times — not just once at the end of the ceremony, as Funke would’ve had us believe. The next day, under mounting pressure, USA Today issued a correction of sorts: “This story was updated Sept. 2 to note that Biden checked his watch multiple times at the dignified transfer event, including during the ceremony itself. The rating on this claim has been changed from ‘partly false’ to ‘missing context.’”

“Missing context” in this case, as in most other “fact-checks,” means that a true and damaging claim about a Democrat hasn’t been effectively offset by Leftmedia smokescreens and irrelevancies. It is, as our Andrew Culper describes it, the catch-all for facts journalists don’t like.

Had Funke not been such a partisan hack, he’d have checked his facts before “fact-checking” the grieving parents who were there at the service, two of whom, Mark Schmitz and Darin Hoover, told Fox News’s Sean Hannity the day after the ceremony that Scranton Joe had glanced down at his Rolex multiple times.

Said Schmitz: “I actually leaned into my son’s mother’s ear and I said, ‘I swear to God if he checks his watch one more time’ — and that was only probably four times in. I couldn’t look at him anymore after that, just considering especially … why we were there. It was, I found it to be the most disrespectful thing I’d ever seen.”

The heat must’ve gotten to Funke and his USA Today fellow travelers. “Journalists and fact-checkers are human (yes, even me!)” he tweeted defensively. “We make mistakes. When we do, we correct them and try to make it right.”

Whatever, dude. Cry us a river.

As Sean Davis replied: “You didn’t ‘get things wrong.’ You peddled deliberate lies about people whose kids were just killed so you could run interference for the doddering old imbecile whose incompetence got them killed.”

Clearly, what we’re talking about here isn’t fact-checking. It’s damage control. It’s partisanship. It’s activism. And these people wonder why we put the term “fact-check” in scare quotes.

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