WaPo fact-checked only Republicans after first day of impeachment inquiry hearings
Maybe "Democracy dies in darkness," as the Washington Post pompously proclaims, but that paper went dark when it came to fact-checking Democrat members of the majority on the House Intelligence Committee after its first day of hearings, Wednesday. Only Republicans were subjected to scrutiny. Shelby Talcott tells the amusing tale of how the paper handled a challenge to its practice, eliciting an excuse from the WaPo that doesn't withstand fact-checking. Via The Daily Caller News Foundation:
The Washington Post fact checked various statements made during the first day of public impeachment hearings Wednesday, but the roundup failed to look into any comments Democrats made. (snip)
WaPo fact checked Republican Reps. John Ratcliffe of Texas, Elise Stefanik of New York and Michael Turner of Ohio. Republican Reps. Devin Nunes of California and Jim Jordan of Ohio were also each fact checked twice. U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William B. Taylor Jr. and senior State Department official George P. Kent testified during Wednesday's impeachment hearing.
Glenn Kessler, WaPo's fact checker, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that nothing the Democrats said rose to "the level of being an interesting fact check."
I must assume that this conversation took place over the phone, so there was no way to tell if Kessler maintained a straight face. But Talcott was able to quickly fact-check the assertion, though no Pinocchios were awarded:
One fact check WaPo omitted was Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff's assertion that the White House took an "extraordinary step" by moving the memo of President Donald Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukraine's president to a "highly classified server." (RELATED: Tucker Responds To Brian Williams Fact-Checking Graham: 'Please, Get Some Self Awareness')
FactCheck.org highlighted the "extraordinary step" comment, noting that White House National Security Council staffer Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman testified Oct. 29 that the move was not "unusual." Vindman added that putting the call into a more secure system could have been justified to avoid leaking information that would hurt relations between the two countries, according to FactCheck.org.
"We had to make some choices given time and staff constraints, and that detail just seemed too in the weeds given how it was so inconclusive," Kessler told the DCNF regarding the Thursday fact check.
In another moment, Jordan criticized Schiff and said his "staff is the only staff of any member of Congress that's had a chance to talk with" the whistleblower. Schiff replied, "That's a false statement," adding that he personally doesn't know the whistleblower.
The New York Times reported Oct. 2 that Schiff's team likely knows who the whistleblower is — a point Jordan mentioned. The whistleblower reportedly reached out to a House staffer, so "it's reasonable to think his [Schiff's] team knows" who the person is, PolitiFact reported.
The Associated Press also fact checked Schiff's Wednesday whistleblower comments. PolitiFact's fact check originated with WaPo's Oct. 4 report, which gave Schiff's previous whistleblower comments "Four Pinocchios."
WaPo didn't include this fact check in its roundup because it had previously fact checked the comments, Kessler said.
The WaPo needs to start checking Democrat Privilege.