These days, every media outlet seems to have its own personal fact-checking service, but PolitiFact was the original. They’re still going strong, and they are still one of the most absurdly-biased fact-checkers in the business. In fact, we’d say they’ve only gotten worse in this age of increased competition.
Never was that on display more evidently than this week, when they slapped Vice President Mike Pence with a “Mostly False” rating for remarks he made about Joe Biden. PolitiFact has put out some embarrassing articles over the years, but this is one for the history books.
“I heard that, just yesterday, Joe Biden said that well-armed police, in his words, ‘become the enemy’ and he said that he would ‘absolutely cut funding for law enforcement,’” Pence said at a recent appearance with Philadelphia police officers.
Well, PolitiFact couldn’t let that statement stand, so they popped out their best fact-checking tools and went to work.
It didn’t take them long to figure out where Pence was pulling his quotes from: Biden’s recent interview with far-left activist Ady Barkan.
In the interview, Barkan asserted that police brutality could be reduced if communities would redirect police funding to social services, mental health counseling, and other programs.
“Are you open to that kind of reform?” Barkan asked.
“Yes. I proposed that kind of reform,” Biden boasted.
PolitiFact expounded: “Biden said he has called for more mental health funding, as well as police reforms such as transparency in officer misconduct records. He did not speak directly about reducing police funding.”
Hmm. So the guy asked him specifically if he would support redirecting police funding to these other initiatives, and Biden not only said yes, he bragged that he was first to the table with that exact proposal. Now, maybe we need to consult the dictionary about the definition of “redirecting,” but doesn’t that mean that funds are being reduced to the police so that they can be put elsewhere? Wouldn’t another word for “reduce” be “cut”?
Okay, just checking.
Here’s some more from PolitiFact’s piece:
Biden then talked about police using military equipment in their communities, which is where the “enemy” comment came up:
“Surplus military equipment for law enforcement — they don’t need that. The last thing you need is an up-armored Humvee coming into a neighborhood; it’s like the military invading. They don’t know anybody; they become the enemy, they’re supposed to be protecting these people.”
Barkan then interjected, asking: “But do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding?”
Biden replied: “Yes. Absolutely.”
All righty then, it seems clear to us what the ruling should be. Biden said exactly what Mike Pence said he said.
Somehow, PolitiFact came up with a reason to see it differently.
“Biden said police become the enemy when they use military equipment in a way that’s like invading a neighborhood. That context is missing from Pence’s portrayal,” they wrote. “Biden also said he is open to redirecting some police funding to social services, but he has stated opposition to fully defunding the police. In fact, he has proposed more funding for community policing and using federal funding to incentivize police reform.
“The statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False,” they concluded.
Someone put this misbegotten “fact check” site to sleep before it embarrasses itself any more than it already has.