Praise for Jen Psaki by parent institute PolitiFact continues fact-checker’s ease on Biden administration

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The Poynter Institute paid a glowing tribute to outgoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday, calling the future MSNBC figure one of the best to ever command the briefing room podium.

“Psaki restored honor, dignity and class to the White House briefing room after four years of Donald Trump’s press officers, who seemed more interested in causing fights and criticizing the media than in effectively communicate the policies and agenda of this administration,” Tom Poynter wrote. Jones wrote in part.

The Poynter Institute, a nonprofit school for journalists, is the parent company of PolitiFact, which claims it is a “nonpartisan fact-checking website.” However, critics say the website’s filing paints a different picture.

According to the Media Research Center, a right-wing media analysis group, PolitiFact is nearly six times more likely to defend President Biden than fact-check him.

POLITIFACT’S PARENT COMPANY GUSHES JEN PSAKI WAS ‘ONE OF THE BEST PRESS SECRETARIES EVER’ IN ILLUMINATING TRIBUTE

President Joe Biden speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

From Jan. 20, 2021 to Jan. 19, 2022, NewsBusters found that Biden had been verified 40 times, while those who criticized the president had been verified 230 times.

“In his freshman year, Biden landed on the ‘mostly wrong’ side or worse in 19 out of 40 fact checks (45%). But the “Joe Biden fact checks” were overwhelmingly negative – 201 out of 230 fact checks were “Somewhat wrong” or worse (87.4%). There were only three that were ‘true’, four were ‘fairly true’ and 22 were ‘half true’,” the group noted.

There was no fact-checking of Biden that resulted in his toughest “Pants on Fire” rating since taking office.

Vice President Kamala Harris has largely avoided the gaze of PolitiFact fact checkers, getting only four fact checks since taking office and none since July. PSAKI left the White House after being checked twice since the start of the Biden administration.

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Vice President Kamala Harris waves goodbye after speaking at the Tribal Nations Summit in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

Vice President Kamala Harris waves goodbye after speaking at the Tribal Nations Summit in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Last month, PolitiFact came under fire for standing up for the president, after social media users mocked Biden following a viral clip claiming he was trying to greet non-existent people on the North Carolina stage. North on which he stood alone.

“You may have seen a clip of President Joe Biden ‘shaking hands’ with thin air. It never happened. Here’s the truth, plus how disinformants fabricate and embellish presidential moments embarrassing,” PolitiFact wrote, noting that Biden was actually pointing at the audience with his full hand. The fact-checking website even brought in a researcher to dissect the clip and the resulting backlash on social media.

Poynter’s PolitiFact has again been accused of shielding Biden, as well as Harris, from criticism over their past rhetoric expressing distrust of the coronavirus vaccine under the Trump administration.

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As the administration pushed for the American people to get vaccinated, social media users unearthed comments made during the 2020 campaign trial by the then Democratic ticket that cast doubt on a vaccine developed under Trump and its administration.

“Biden, Harris was suspicious of Trump with COVID-19 vaccines, not the vaccines themselves,” wrote PolitiFact, saying the clips used in the video had been “selectively edited to take the statements out of context. “.

Last May, PolitiFact hosted a virtual festival, “United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking,” billed as a “celebration of fact-checking featuring some of the most important voices in media, healthcare health, politics and technology. The event was largely comprised of leftist voices, including CNN’s Brian Stelter and Christiane Amanpour, MSNBC contributor Charlie Sykes and Democratic Virginia Senator Mark Warner. Dr. Anthony Fauci was also featured.

During the event, PolitiFact editor Angie Holan hailed billionaire Democratic donor Craig Newmark, a major financial backer for the “neutral” fact-checking website. Newmark has supported President Biden’s 2020 election campaign as well as a host of other Democratic candidates and causes over the years.

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In November, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, an organization of the founder of Craigslist, paid more than $3 million to create the Information Disorders Commission, a council that helps users discern “right from wrong” and “the trustworthy of the fringe”. A report from the commission, focusing on “information disorder”, was co-authored by left-leaning journalist Katie Couric.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Poynter for comment.

Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report.

Virginia C. Taylor