Sometimes life comes at you fast. Such was the case this week for Glenn Kessler, the so-called fact-checker for Jeff Bezos’ publication, The Washington Post. Kessler himself was inadvertently fact-checked by the U.S. Department of Justice, and yet this reporter who spends his career allegedly seeking the truth and correcting others was unwilling to admit his own mistake.
Kessler’s full-time job is to perform public relations work for the Biden regime by often issuing fake “fact checks” of conservatives when they make points that run counter to the regime’s narrative. More often than not, these fact checks require some serious spinning, or even inventing of “facts,” in order to find objectionable grounds.
The incident that led to the fact check of Kessler actually began in March of last year, when Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., pointed out that people in prison would receive COVID-19 relief checks. On March 6, 2021, the senator tweeted:
“Senate Democrats just voted to give stimulus checks to criminals in prison. They haven’t lost their jobs, they aren’t worried about paying rent or buying groceries. Another example of the unrelated spending in the Democrats’ partisan slush fund.”
Later that afternoon, he followed up with another tweet:
“Dylann Roof murdered nine people. He’s on federal death row. He’ll be getting a $1,400 stimulus check as part of the Democrats’ ‘COVID relief’ bill.”
This was in reference to an amendment that was offered by Sens. Cotton, Ted Cruz, and Bill Cassidy that would have prevented checks from going to prisoners. Democrats blocked that amendment.
Getting caught sending taxpayer money in the form of COVID-19 relief to prisoners, including mass murderers, is not a good look for the left. It’s a bit of what we’d call a “public relations problem.” Well, public relations problems call for public relations professionals.
Enter Glenn Kessler.
The wielder of Pinocchios himself decided that of all things deserving of a fact check, Cotton’s comments reigned supreme. Here is Kessler’s two-Pinocchio verdict:
“Cotton and [Sen. John] Barrasso claim Democrats are actively trying to give stimulus checks to murderers and undocumented immigrants. Not only is that wrong, but both voted for previous stimulus bills that did not have narrowed criteria.”
Kessler does a few things here. First, he adds the word “actively” where it never appeared before in an attempt to absolve Democrats for their vote having an unintended or unforeseen consequence. This is patently false, as they had just voted down an amendment that would have explicitly prevented this exact thing from happening. So even the straw man insertion of “actively” doesn’t apply.
Second, Kessler claims that the senator had voted for the same thing in a prior bill. This is also patently false, as the senator had thoroughly explained. The previous iteration of COVID-19 stimulus checks only went to prisoners after a liberal judge mandated that they did, over the government’s objection. This straw man also doesn’t apply.
Kessler does these two things for one reason: He wants to draw attention away from the real issue at hand—that Democrats intentionally blocked an amendment that would have prevented COVID-19 relief checks from going to prisoners. In pulling these tricks, he took his fake fact-checking to extremes that not even PolitiFact would do when it rated Cotton’s comment as “mostly true.” It appears that while most fact-checkers are shameless, some are more shameless than others.
There was only one problem for Kessler: The senator would be proved right in dramatic fashion. In a Jan. 5 court filing, the Department of Justice said that the imprisoned Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (a radical Islamic extremist who received asylum in the United States, by the way), received a $1,400 COVID-19 relief payment. A spokesperson for Cotton duly updated Kessler.
At this point, journalistic ethics would require a full retraction. Honesty and honor would require an apology. But instead, with the tables fully turned, Kessler did what liberal fact-checkers do best: obfuscate and mislead for political purposes. He would use his public relations platform this time not to defend the regime narrative, but to defend himself.
Kessler announced that he would only downgrade the rating of Cotton’s statement from two Pinocchios to one. His reasoning for doing so:
“Cotton primarily received the Two-Pinocchio rating because his comments lacked context. He suggested this problem was the result of something Democrats did, when he had previously voted for legislation with the same language that allowed for checks to be issued to prisoners. He also made it clear that he intended weaponize this debate for campaign ads.”
Note that his reasons for downgrading the rating are the same exact reasons he gave for awarding two Pinocchios in the first place. If you are looking for consistency, reasoning, or logic with liberal fact checks, then you will be looking for a long time.
This sequence of events proved to be a few things all at once: embarrassing for Kessler, entirely predictable, and illustrative of the liberal fact-checker industry.
It is also a terrific encapsulation of why Americans shouldn’t trust left-wing regime public relations professionals as arbiters of truth. They exist to serve a function, and that’s to defend leftist interests. Sometimes, it’s nuanced, sneaky, and spun so much that it’s hard to keep up. Other times, it’s just pushing the envelope so far that they get caught red-handed. The latter is what happened here.
Originally published by The Daily Signal. Republished with permission.