ai express – In a recent development, the fact-checking website Snopes has come forward and admitted their mistake of flagging a false claim about President Biden wearing a hard hat backward. This admission has prompted a reaction from the hosts of ‘The Five.’ The hosts discussed the irony of Snopes making an error while fact-checking a claim about the President. They also highlighted the contrast between this incident and the way ‘SNL’ mocked former President Trump for allegedly using the term ‘de-bank,’ which is actually a real term. This revelation has once again sparked a debate about the credibility and accuracy of fact-checking websites and the media’s portrayal of political figures.
Last week, a photo of President Biden wearing a construction hard hat backwards during a photo op with Wisconsin union workers went viral. Social media was filled with criticism towards the president for his unconventional choice. However, Snopes recently published an article debunking the claim that he wore the hard hat backwards, stating that it was “false.”
According to Snopes, the photo in question is indeed authentic. At first glance, it may appear that Biden was wearing the hard hat backwards. However, upon closer examination and comparison with other photos and videos from the same event, Snopes came to the opposite conclusion. The hat on Biden’s head was actually facing forward, with the bill to the front, not backward.
Social media has been left stunned after Snopes reversed its fact-check on President Biden’s backwards hardhat. The sudden reversal has sparked widespread debate and speculation among online users. Many are questioning the credibility and accuracy of fact-checking organizations, while others are praising Snopes for admitting their mistake and rectifying it. This incident serves as a reminder of the power and influence of social media in shaping public opinion and challenging established narratives.
Snopes had to issue a correction due to backlash from critics who disagreed with its fact-check regarding President Biden’s correct usage of a hard hat.
Snopes’ report included an unusual photo from Biden’s visit, which showed a union worker wearing the hard hat correctly. However, the report mistakenly suggested that the worker was wearing it backwards.
Snopes playfully inquired if anyone wanted to tease the man for his unconventional choice of wearing a hard hat.
Snopes faced heavy criticism from critics, which eventually led to the fact-checker having to issue a correction.
Snopes addressed the plethora of comments they received that challenged their assumption about the meaning of wearing a hard hat ‘backwards’ and ‘forwards’. In their detailed editor’s note, Snopes ultimately concluded that the viral claim regarding Biden’s hard hat orientation was indeed accurate.
Snopes has made numerous factual errors, and the hard hat debacle is just one example of this.
In a recent incident, Snopes initially confirmed the viral claim that X owner Elon Musk’s Starlink company played a role in the disappearance of the OceanGate submersible. However, they later revised their fact check and categorized the claim as “unproven.” Finally, after providing additional context, Snopes declared the allegation to be “false.”
In 2022, Snopes faced criticism from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office for categorizing a seemingly genuine list of banned books shared on social media as satire, rather than labeling it as false. The list included titles like “The Lord of the Rings.”
USA Today, like Snopes, released a fact-check in support of Biden when he was accused in September 2021 of glancing at his watch multiple times during a solemn ceremony honoring the 13 US servicemen who lost their lives in the Kabul airport terrorist attack amid the turbulent withdrawal from Afghanistan.
USA TODAY corrected a “fact check” article after falsely claiming that President Joe Biden checked his watch “only after the ceremony” at Dover.
USA Today disputed allegations made by Gold Star families against President Biden, asserting that he checked his watch “only after the ceremony.” The news outlet labeled these claims as “partly false.”
USA Today initially faced significant criticism for its rating, but later reconsidered and acknowledged that Biden had indeed checked his watch multiple times during the ceremony. However, rather than classifying the claim as “true,” USA Today inexplicably labeled it as “missing context.”
A fact-check conducted by USA Today received criticism for inaccurately stating that President Biden did not check his watch during the dignified transfer ceremony in September 2021, which took place after the Kabul airport terrorist attack. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
In 2022, Glenn Kessler, a fact-checker at the Washington Post, admitted his mistake in a 2021 fact-check. He had given two Pinocchios to Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, for his prediction that murderers, like convicted terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, would receive a COVID stimulus check.
In the past, Kessler brushed off Cotton’s statement as an exaggerated claim that didn’t provide enough context. He dismissed it as fear-mongering. However, subsequent records showed that Tsarnaev, the convicted perpetrator of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, had actually received over $21,000 in deposits while serving his life sentence. Interestingly, one of these deposits included COVID relief funds in June 2021.
Kessler had to revisit his fact-check, which had not aged well, after he received an email from Cotton’s press secretary, asking for an update to the article from 2021.
Washington Post Fact-Checker Forced to Retract Statement After Senator Cotton Accurately Predicted Boston Bomber’s Eligibility for COVID Stimulus Check
In a surprising turn of events, the Washington Post Fact-Checker had to backtrack on their previous claim after Senator Tom Cotton accurately predicted that the Boston Bomber would be eligible to receive a COVID stimulus check. This revelation has raised eyebrows and sparked a heated debate about the flaws in the stimulus eligibility criteria.
Senator Cotton’s prediction, which initially drew skepticism from the Fact-Checker, has now been proven correct. The Boston Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was indeed eligible for the stimulus check under the current guidelines. This oversight exposes a significant loophole in the system, allowing convicted criminals to benefit from taxpayer-funded relief programs.
The Washington Post’s retraction comes as a blow to their credibility and raises questions about their fact-checking process. It highlights the importance of thorough research and verification before making bold claims or dismissing statements from public figures.
This incident has reignited the debate on whether the stimulus eligibility criteria need to be revised and tightened to prevent such loopholes. Critics argue that it is unacceptable for individuals who have committed heinous crimes to receive financial assistance meant for those who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.
Senator Cotton’s accurate prediction has sparked a larger conversation about the need for transparency and accountability in the distribution of relief funds. It serves as a reminder that policymakers must ensure that taxpayer money is allocated responsibly and effectively.
As the aftermath of this revelation unfolds, it is evident that the Washington Post’s fact-checking process needs to be more rigorous to maintain public trust. This incident should serve as a lesson for journalists and fact-checkers to approach their work with meticulousness and objectivity, as inaccurate statements can have far-reaching consequences.
In conclusion, the Washington Post Fact-Checker’s retraction after Senator Cotton correctly predicted the Boston Bomber’s eligibility for a COVID stimulus check has highlighted flaws in the stimulus program and the need for stricter eligibility criteria. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of thorough fact-checking and transparency in the distribution of taxpayer-funded relief funds.
“We understand the importance of considering new information and take requests for fact check reviews seriously,” mentioned Kessler in an updated version of his report. “Cotton’s statements were primarily given a Two-Pinocchio rating due to the lack of context… However, it is worth recognizing Cotton’s ability to make accurate predictions. He had mentioned that the Boston bomber would receive a stimulus check, and indeed, Tsarnaev did.”
Kessler admitted that using the phrase ‘scaremongering’ in reference to Cotton’s statement was inappropriate upon reflection. Cotton had indeed raised a genuine concern, albeit in a political manner. Additionally, the headline’s use of ‘hyped up’ was excessive. Therefore, we have decided to lower the rating on this claim to One Pinocchio, indicating that it is ‘mostly true.’ While Cotton’s statement still lacks some context, he was indeed correct in stating that Tsarnaev would receive a stimulus check.
Glenn Kessler from The Washington Post recently teamed up with Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
In November 2021, PolitiFact reaffirmed its incorrect fact-check from 2020, stating that Kyle Rittenhouse’s possession of a weapon during the Kenosha riots was illegal. However, it should be noted that the judge presiding over the murder trial dismissed the charge against him for having a dangerous weapon as a minor.
In August 2020, the outlet took issue with a claim made by a Facebook user stating that “Carrying a rifle across state lines is perfectly legal,” and further asserting that “Based on the laws I can find of this area at 17 years old Kyle was perfectly legal to be able to possess that rifle without parental supervision.”
According to PolitiFact’s Daniel Funke, the state laws indicate that it may not be true.
“The Wisconsin Department of Justice recognizes concealed carry permits from Illinois. However, it’s important to note that Rittenhouse did not possess a permit in the first place, and he was also underage to legally carry a firearm in Wisconsin,” Funke explained. He then delved into the concealed and open carry laws in Wisconsin and Rittenhouse’s home state of Illinois.
Politifact Faces Criticism for Previous Fact-Check on Kyle Rittenhouse’s Weapon Possession
The fact-checking organization, Politifact, is under fire for a previous claim they made regarding Kyle Rittenhouse’s possession of a weapon. Critics argue that the claim was inaccurate and not based on legal grounds.
According to Funke, a Wisconsin gun rights attorney pointed out an exception for shotguns and rifles that allows children aged 16 and 17 to hunt. However, this exception does not apply to Rittenhouse as he was not in Kenosha for hunting purposes.
According to Funke, the ongoing litigation is centered around whether Rittenhouse violated Wisconsin law by possessing a firearm underage. However, the claim made in the Facebook post that it was ‘perfectly legal’ for the teenager to carry an assault-style rifle in Kenosha is, at best, unproven and at worst, inaccurate. Therefore, the post is rated as False.
PolitiFact’s fact-check resurfaced during the Rittenhouse trial when the gun charge was dismissed. In response, the organization updated its report with an editor’s note that acknowledged the grey areas of local gun laws. The note emphasized that the situation was far from a clear-cut case of something being “perfectly legal.” Despite these subsequent events, PolitiFact maintained that its original fact-check remained unchanged.
Funke, who was the same “fact-checker” responsible for USA Today’s Biden fact-check, has since become an editor at Agence France-Presse (AFP) News Agency.
PolitiFact remains steadfast in its fact-check, asserting that Kyle Rittenhouse’s possession of a weapon was illegal, despite evidence to the contrary presented in court. (Sean Krajacic/Pool via REUTERS)
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale collaborated on a report titled “Facts First” in March 2020, where he questioned several alleged COVID-related falsehoods made by former President Trump and his administration. One of the claims scrutinized was Trump’s statement about the vaccine being available “relatively soon.”
The claim that President Trump made about the COVID-19 vaccine being available “relatively soon” is not entirely false, but it lacks important context. Trump failed to mention that earlier that day, Dr. Fauci had informed him that a vaccine would take “a year to a year and a half” to develop. In fact, Fauci reiterated this timeline the following day during his testimony before the Senate. Dale, the fact-checker, pointed out that the process of preparing a vaccine for deployment would indeed require at least a year to a year and a half.
The COVID vaccines arrived much earlier than expected, with companies like Pfizer and Moderna announcing the development of their own vaccines just eight months later, instead of the anticipated year and a half.
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale faced criticism for his cautious critique of President Biden’s tendency to invent and embellish stories.
CNN’s Daniel Dale has fact-checked Donald Trump more frequently than Joe Biden since the latter assumed office. (Screenshot/CNN)
The fact-checkers faced a major failure in 2020 when they collectively disregarded the theory of a COVID lab leak.
During the initial stages of the pandemic, a number of well-known Republicans, including Cotton, proposed the theory that COVID originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, rather than being a result of natural causes like the widely mentioned wet markets. However, it was only recently that various government agencies, including the FBI, publicly stated their belief that COVID “most likely” came from the lab.
Fact-checks rejecting the lab leak theory bombarded Cotton and other individuals at that time.
According to a fact-check by USA Today, the lab leak theory was labeled as “false information” and dismissed as a “conspiracy” by right-leaning outlets. The article confidently gave it a “FALSE” rating.
Credibility Crisis: Media ‘Fact-Checkers’ were quick to debunk the COVID lab leak theory but had to issue corrections.
The media has been facing a credibility crisis as their fact-checkers were eager to debunk the theory that COVID-19 originated from a lab leak. However, they had to backtrack and issue corrections due to mounting evidence.
It is no secret that the lab leak theory was initially dismissed and labeled as a conspiracy theory. Many media outlets relied on fact-checkers to debunk this theory and reassure the public that the virus originated naturally. Unfortunately, these fact-checkers were too quick to dismiss the possibility of a lab leak without conducting a thorough investigation.
As more evidence emerged pointing towards a potential lab leak, the media’s fact-checkers had no choice but to issue corrections. The credibility of these fact-checkers has been called into question, as they failed to properly assess the available information and jumped to conclusions prematurely.
This credibility crisis has further eroded public trust in mainstream media and their fact-checking processes. The public relies on the media to provide accurate and reliable information, especially during times of crisis. When fact-checkers fail to fulfill this role effectively, it raises concerns about their objectivity and impartiality.
In the pursuit of truth, it is crucial for fact-checkers to approach their work with an open mind and conduct thorough investigations before reaching conclusions. This requires a commitment to unbiased reporting and a willingness to consider all possibilities, even if they go against the prevailing narrative.
The COVID lab leak theory serves as a reminder that the media’s fact-checkers are not infallible. It is essential for them to learn from this credibility crisis and strive to regain the public’s trust. Fact-checking should be a rigorous and objective process, guided by evidence rather than preconceived notions.
In conclusion, the media’s fact-checkers were eager to debunk the COVID lab leak theory but had to issue corrections as more evidence emerged. This credibility crisis highlights the need for fact-checkers to approach their work with objectivity and thoroughness, ensuring that the public can rely on them for accurate and reliable information.
According to Snopes, in April 2020, they stated that COVID’s infectiousness “is a result of natural selection, not bioengineering.” They also dismissed any claims suggesting that the virus originated from a laboratory as a “conspiracy theory.”
In March 2021, Snopes conducted a fact-check targeting Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who insinuated that COVID originated from a lab. They emphasized that simply repeating a claim multiple times throughout the year does not automatically make it a fact.
In February 2020, CNN conducted a comprehensive analysis of Cotton’s claims and concluded that while there is a possibility of the lab being linked to the outbreak, it is highly unlikely.
According to a Pew Research poll conducted in April 2020, a CNN headline stated that “Nearly 30% in the US believe a coronavirus theory that’s almost certainly not true.”
According to CNN, the origin of the coronavirus is still a topic of debate. However, experts in virology agree on one aspect of its origin story – the virus is believed to have originated in a bat and not in a Chinese laboratory.
Fact-checkers from CNN, the Washington Post, USA Today, PolitiFact, Vox, and Snopes were quick to dismiss the COVID lab leak theory as false. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)
In April 2020, Vox, a liberal outlet, entered the realm of fact-checking with its report titled “Why these scientists still doubt the coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab.” The report criticized the Trump administration for attempting to shift blame onto China for the pandemic and divert attention from its own failures. It also questioned the logic behind the lab leak theory, describing it as something out of a spy novel.
In 2020, Vox’s then-science, health, and climate editor Eliza Barclay, now the climate editor for New York Times Opinion, interviewed five scientists, some of whom have extensive experience working in China with researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. According to Barclay, these scientists do not believe that the pandemic can be attributed to an accident at the lab. One expert even cautioned against becoming too fixated on this theory, highlighting the ongoing threat of another disease with pandemic potential originating from wildlife.
In a recent 10-minute video report, The Washington Post delved into the origins of the virus and reached the conclusion that it was “doubtful” that the virus originated from a lab.
According to The Post fact-checker, the overwhelming scientific evidence indicates that the origin of the novel coronavirus is most likely from nature, whether it be from the Wuhan market or another location. The idea that it may have escaped from a lab is highly unlikely, as there would have been several improbable coincidences. However, the Chinese government has not been forthcoming with information that could address the lingering questions regarding the Wuhan labs’ potential involvement.
According to a fact check by PolitiFact on September 16, 2020, they deemed the lab leak possibility as a “debunked conspiracy theory” and labeled it as “inaccurate and ridiculous,” earning it a “Pants on Fire” ruling.