The United States’ First Amendment to the constitution is there to protect the free speech rights of ordinary citizens. It is true that the First Amendment has done an incredible service to the people of this country in protecting free speech. In the past few decades, a new threat to freedom of speech has arisen. While social media sites have engaged in extreme anti- free speech activities, they are not our focus today. Free speech is under attack by aggressive internet sites whose sole mission in life is to attack the free speech rights of various sites and individuals across the internet. It’s the attack of the fact checkers.
Fact checking predates the internet. Back in 1938 Time magazine expanded its fact checking staff from 10 members to 22. This of course predated the internet, and probably served a beneficial service to the magazine. The German magazine Der Spiegel also once had a celebrated fact checking department. (1) Now internal fact checkers aren’t necessarily bad. Any journalist organization would benefit from being more accurate, but what we are talking about is something different.
According to the Heritage Foundation, “fact checking” is often more opinion checking rather than checking facts. Take a simple fictional example: I see an orange playball. Someone else might see it as red. Or take a traffic accident witnessed by ten people. You will get 10 slightly different accounts. Not everyone sees everything the same. The Heritage Foundation cites the case of Ivanka Trump’s conversation with a Washington Post reporter, who apparently did not like the positive spin that Trump put on the economy, and gave her two Pinocchios. (2)
One major force behind so-called factchecking sites is the nefarious Annenberg foundation, which is a notoriously left wing “philanthropic” organization. (3) The Annenberg Foundation is responsible for one of the worst, most vicious fact checkers, Factcheck.org. (4) Their constant attacks on our First Amendment rights are well known. A quick tour of the site will reveal that they mostly attack conservative, right wing sites. That is a common theme with “fact checking” sites however as we will see.
Now no one is going to give politicians any points for honesty. Lying and corruption go hand in hand with politics. There is an old joke: How do you tell if a politician is lying. The answer is, their lips are moving.
Fact checkers claim to be objective, but that simply is not so. They tend to give Democrats good ratings, while slamming Republicans. Their bias is even worse with former president Trump. The “fact checkers” often have a personal hatred for him. Another competing source is PolitiFact.com. They are funded by the left-wing Poynter foundation. (5) One thing I have noticed on my own chat group, Tyranny Watch on Tapatalk, is that some love to run to factcheckers in order to derail a conversation. This is done in order to stop the discussion of a topic. (6)
On my site I learned about a different breed of factcheckers who are oriented towards shutting down debate on scientific issues. This is even more egregious because science at its heart requires testing, peer review, experimentation and revision of scientific theory. The factcheckers don’t see it that way.
One of these sites which cling to the official narrative is Healthfeedback.org. After seeing them on my chatgroup, I decided to investigate them. A click on their “about page” takes to a page, ScienceFeedback.co/about. Incredibly they claim to be registered in France when in fact their internet extension is “.co” which is located in Columbia! (7) The trail led to more than of these sites that want to stifle scientific study. By their own admission, they run a global network of “scientists” who are dedicated to official narrative science. (8)
Getting honesty out of these groups is about as easy as squeezing water out of a stone. Climate Change is an excellent example. The science factcheckers are obsessed with CO2, Methane and such. They ignore the many natural forces at work that shape the climate and concentrate instead on the activities of humans. That is because they are agenda driven propaganda agencies, not those dedicated to facts and truths. (9)
It is the ultimate irony that factcheckers are protected by the same First Amendment protections that they are attacking. This is the arrogance of elitism. It’s the old “Rules for thee, not for we” mentality. In the tradition of infamous NAZI propagandist Joseph Goebbels, they seek to silence legitimate discussion of issues, whether it be political issues, the coronavirus or climate, it’s mostly one narrative, one science and one political philosophy. Anything else is on the chopping block.
Still the fact checkers have no authority if you don’t give it to them. I am surprised that they don’t seem to get sued by the organizations and individuals that they ruthlessly attack, many of whom they no doubt seriously are defamed. While they are immune to criminal prosecution, civil suits could cause some of these wicked organizations to rethink their ways. Perhaps however the strategy is to ignore them, like annoying barking dogs. Maybe that would put them in the doghouse where they belong.