It was a good run. I guess.
The Washington Post is shuttering the presidential fact-checking database it launched under former President Donald Trump, just a mere 96 days after the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
The paper’s chief fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, announced the change late Monday evening.
“We’ve been comparing Biden (67 false or misleading claims) to Trump’s first 100 days (511 claims),” he said on social media. “But past is no prologue. In the last 100 days before the 2020 election, we counted 8,859 claims made by Trump. It was a wild ride.”
Kessler then shared a link to the Washington Post’s Biden database, adding that “we do not plan to extend beyond 100 days.”
“I have learned my lesson,” he said. “‘Learned my lesson’ means that who knows what the next four years will bring. We have fact-checked Biden rigorously and will continue to do so. Trump at 500 claims/100 days was manageable; 8,000+ was not.”
Kessler continues, explaining that it was a Herculean task maintaining a database of Trump’s falsehoods, misstatements, and outright lies.
“[It] required about 400 additional 8-hour days over four years beyond our regular jobs for three people,” he said. “Biden is off to a relatively slow start but who knows what will happen. We will keep doing fact checks, just not a database.”
It’s true that Trump was a font of misinformation (and disinformation) during his time in the Oval Office. But shuttering the presidential fact-checking database for Biden, and so soon into his presidency, is an ill-advised move.
For starters, this current president is an accomplished liar. He may not be as indiscriminate as Trump in what he will lie about, but he is more mendacious than a great many public officials. Shutting down the database is one thing, but for Biden, in particular, it is especially foolish.
Biden lied in April when he boasted his administration “turned around a slow-moving vaccination program” started under Trump. He pushed a misleading narrative in March when he said critics claimed his goal of 100 vaccines in 100 days was “way over the top.” Biden lied in February when he claimed there was “no real plan to vaccinate most of the country” when he took office.
The president lied in October of last year when he said he didn’t oppose fracking. He told a Trump-style falsehood in September 2020 when he asserted that “all the people would still be alive” had the then-president acted sooner on the coronavirus pandemic. He was way off when he stated earlier that COVID-19 had killed 6,114 service members.
He lied when he said he was the first person to call for invoking the Defense Production Act to fight the pandemic. He lied when he claimed McDonald’s makes its employees sign non-compete agreements so they cannot get jobs with Burger King. (Who even knows where he got this idea?)
Biden lied when he said he has enjoyed the backing of the NAACP every time he has run for office. Biden lied when he claimed the Obama administration did not “lock people up in cages.” He lied when he said “immediately, the moment [the Iraq War] started, I came out against the war at that moment.”
By the way, these examples are all from just the past few months. There are plenty of additional examples from the president’s more than 40 years in Washington.
Biden is a notorious plagiarist and a serial fabricator. He lied about being shot at in Iraq. He lied when he claimed to have led the charge against Slobodan Milosevic. He lied about being the first in his family to go to university. He lied when he bragged he predicted the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He lied when he claimed that he “marched in the civil rights movement.” He lied when he claimed his wife and child were killed by a drunk driver.
Biden even made up an entire story about being arrested in South Africa for demanding to meet with an imprisoned Nelson Mandela.
And then, there’s my personal favorite: In the 1980s, when Biden first ran for president, he said during an exchange with a voter that he attended law school at Syracuse University on a full academic scholarship, that he finished in the top half of his class in law school, that he was named the outstanding student in the political science department as an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, and that he graduated from Delaware with three undergraduate degrees. Not a single one of those claims is true.
None of this is to say the president is as bad, or worse, a liar than Trump. Rather, it’s to say that shuttering the presidential fact-checking database for Biden, of all people, is an unwise decision. They’re going to need it.
Source: Washington Examiner : Washington Post shutters presidential fact-check database just 96 days into Biden presidency