Fact-checking is on the rise but so is the public’s skepticism of fact-checkers. It’s one reason why the conservative Media Research Center (MRC) has launched a project to evaluate fact-checkers.
The Duke University Reporters’ Lab reports that the number of fact-checkers around the world has grown tremendously in recent years. It has more than tripled in the last four from 44 in 2014 to 149 in 2018.
But here’s the catch: most people don’t trust the fact-checkers. A 2016 Rasmussen poll found that less than one-third of American voters believe media fact-checkers.
It also found that Donald Trump supporters are the most suspicious. Rasmussen and another poll by YouGov found that in the fall of 2016 the majority of Trump supporters didn’t believe media fact-checkers while the majority of Hillary Clinton supporters did.
MRC plans to go after the fact-checkers and expose what it believes is a left-leaning bias. MRC’s Christian Robey told CBN News, “We will look at their claims and just look at how they compare with the facts. We will go to actual authoritative sources.”
Robey says that media fact-checkers often omit key information or slant the truth. A statement from MRC says fact-checking groups “routinely cast judgments while failing to disclose their own left-wing bias. Their allies in the media try to cast these groups as neutral third parties when, in fact, they are card-carrying members of the liberal echo chamber.”
The MRC cites a laundry list of what it considers problematic fact-checking, including a recent analysis by the Washington Post that attempted to debunk the president’s Feb. 5th claim that wages are rising for the first time in many years. One of the problems with the Post’s fact-checking, says MRC, is that it relied on analysis by Jay Shambaugh who works for the Hamilton Project, a part of the left-leaning Brookings Institution and a member of Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors. The Post failed to note that Shambaugh advised the former president.
MRC plans to assign its own ratings to media fact-checkers. “There must be accountability across the board and that includes these alleged arbiters of fact and fiction,” it said.