[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
It appears that “fact-checkers” have one thing in common: They lie.
The latest evidence comes from documents released by WikiLeaks revealing Hillary Clinton’s private speech for Brazilian bankers, for which she was paid $225,000 by Itau BBA, a unit of Itau Unibanco Holding, Brazil’s largest private-sector bank. Her remarks followed by eight months a speech by Bill Clinton for which the Brazilian bankers paid a reported $400,000.
In her remarks, dated May 16, 2013, Clinton said that she believes in open borders. “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders . . . ,” she said, as quoted in the WikiLeaks document. (She does not deny making the comment.)
That represents a problem for the fact-checkers. Every one of the major fact-checking organizations reported, as a matter of objective, undeniable fact, that Clinton is not in favor of open borders. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, his running mate Mike Pence, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump advisor, have all been branded by the fact-checkers as liars (or, at least, makers of false claims) for asserting that Clinton is for open borders. Now we know that, in 2013, Clinton told bankers in a private forum that open borders were her “dream.”
While it is possible that has changed her mind since the bankers’ event, or that, for some reason, her policies aren’t intended to help her pursue her “dream,” or that she lied to the bankers, we know that Trump’s, Pence’s, and Giuliani’s accusations may be true—indeed, probably are true. A reasonable belief cannot be classified objectively as a falsehood. Therefore, the fact-checkers’ labeling of their comments as falsehoods is, itself, a lie.
And they, the fact-checkers, all told the same lie.
The fact-checkers cannot effectively defend themselves on the ground that they were expressing opinions, because the sole purpose of fact-checking is to compare claims to objective facts.
Together with recent revelations that the New York Times gave Clinton a veto over quotes, that CNBC’s John Harwood gave advice to the Clinton campaign, that CNN town hall questions were leaked to the Clinton people, that the Clinton campaign hosted a cocktail party/dinner for 37 journalists that was not publicly reported—along with other recent disclosures about unethical behavior by the news media—the fact that the fact-checkers lied is of great significance, exposing a pattern of corruption that is astonishing in scope.