With so much biased news coverage and so much ‘fake news’, it is comforting to know that you can just turn to FactCheck.Org or Snopes.com and get the real truth about  almost anything you read or hear.

You might want to fact check the above paragraph.  If you believe it is true, you would be wise to avoid realtors with bridges on offer in Brooklyn.

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Both Snopes and Factcheck are dripping with bias, and, surprise, the bias is ‘progressive’.  I have not seen a single example of either ‘service’ steering you toward a conservative interpretation of the facts.  Both are as reliable as CNN or FoxNews at showing any issue in the brightest light for the side of the debate which they support.

So what should you do?  There is no simple answer that I have found.  You really need to seek out the original document.  This is what Snopes and FactCheck purport to do.  What they do in fact is act like critics.  Think of the film critic who does not like a certain director.  When viewing works from that director, the critic will carefully watch and study the work of the director who he does not like but always with an eye to find any flaw, any error or exaggeration.  He will then use this exaggeration or flaw to condemn the entire work, regardless how good it is otherwise.

A perfect example is the current debate about how aliens who have been apprehended crossing our borders illegally are treated when captured.  The Snopes fact check claim, “The widely debated practice of separating families at the border is mandated by Public Law 107-296, which was passed by Democrats in 2002.” (Here is a link to that page.) Snopes boldly claims that this is “False.”   It is meant to make you believe that what the Border Agents are doing is not legal and is directed by the Trump Administration, not by law.  Specifically, the progressives (like Snopes) want you to believe that Border Agents are acting outside the law,  separating families and tearing babies from the breasts of their mothers to deter others from trying to enter the U.S. illegally.

First, they word the question in such a narrow fashion that makes it very easy to label the claim as “False”.    By suggesting that a single law is the reason for the way Border Agents are deterring aliens, they obscure the fact that most law is the sum total of laws, regulations, orders and court interpretations of those laws (case law).  In this case, by excluding all but this one law, they make the problem seem very simple which it is not.  The detention of illegal border crossers is guided by no fewer than 3 federal statutes (in 1997, 2002, 2008), a number of lawsuits and both district and supreme court appeals (Flores Settlement Agreement, 1997, 9th Circuit, 2014, etc.)  which have modified those statutes.  So by asking if this single law is the reason for separating families, it is analogous to asking if the 14th Amendment forbids consideration of race when hiring a new employee.  It ignores all the law and court cases before and after the Emancipation Proclamation which speak to this issue.

Second, they sneak in the part about “…passed by Democrats in 2002.”  By limiting this to  a single law passed in 2002 (The Homeland Security Act), and, by suggesting it was done by Democrats, Snopes can call it false since the majority of those voting for the law were Republicans.  This, of course, ignores the fact that all but 8 Democrats in the Senate voted for the Bill.  To be fair, in the House, only 88 of the 295 votes for the Bill were from Democrats.  In any case, it could not have passed without the Democrats.  Did Democrats pass the bill?  No.  Could they have prevented passage? Easily.  Democrats had 50 members of the Senate plus one Independent who voted with them.  The Republicans had 49 members.  Had this been spun by someone biased toward the Republicans, they would have ‘fact checked’ and found that the law was passed by the Democrats since they controlled the Senate and final passage of a bill lies with the Senate.

FactCheck, like Snopes wants you to believe that they are independent, non-biased arbiters of truth.  They are not.  To treat them as such is as irresponsible as to believe everything that you read on the internet (except, of course, anything you read at Responsibility-Freedom Demands It).

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