Factcheck.org Editor Dubiously Claims They Target Both Sides Equally

Factcheck.org may be the least offensive of all the fact-checking websites, but that is a low bar as it still has issues with case selection, but managing editor Lori Robertson claimed on C-SPAN’s Sunday edition of Washington Journal that they do not.

Host and Atlanta Journal Constitution Washington correspondent Tia Mitchell summed up a caller’s question to Robertson, “So, I guess my question, what Greg is asking is, do you fact-check both sides? Like, are there equal amount of fact-checking when people criticize President Trump, for example?”

Robertson claimed the answer was “absolutely” and “We aim to spend an equal amount of time reviewing claims made by Republicans and Democrats and apply the same standards for accuracy to those claims. So, I mean, you can definitely find stories on our website about things that former President Trump said and things that President Biden has said. Yeah, and we also—we love to get suggestions from readers. If anyone sees something and we haven’t fact-checked it and you think this is something we need to pay attention to, please email us.”

At the top of factcheck.org’s website, there is a feature that users can utilize to scroll through what the staff consider to be the top five most recent articles. At the time of this publishing, two are about COVID-19 vaccines, two are critical of Donald Trump, and the other isn’t really a fact-check, but rather just a list of numbers related to the Biden economy.

Also on the front page, there is an additional story about COVID-19 vaccines, another one about misuse of the term “Disease X,” a post critical of a Trump supporter comparing Trump to Abraham Lincoln, an additional post critical of Trump, and something about the Brooklyn Synagogue Tunnel. Nothing about Democrats. One has to get to page three to find a fact-check about a Democrat, in this case, a claim from Biden about jobs published on October 26.

This isn’t to say that factcheck.org’s articles about the vaccines or Lincoln are wrong, but the claim they apply an “equal amount of time” on claims from both sides does not appear to be accurate.

Here is a transcript for the January 28 show:

C-SPAN Washington Journal

1/28/2024

TIA MITCHELL: So, I guess my question, what Greg is asking is, do you fact-check both sides? Like, are there equal amount of fact-checking when people criticize President Trump, for example?

LORI ROBERTSON: Yeah, absolutely. We aim to spend an equal amount of time reviewing claims made by Republicans and Democrats and apply the same standards for accuracy to those claims. So, I mean, you can definitely find stories on our website about things that former President Trump said and things that President Biden has said. Yeah, and we also—we love to get suggestions from readers. If anyone sees something and we haven’t fact-checked it and you think this is something we need to pay attention to, please email us.

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