Trusted fact-checker? Politifact duped by Bergdahl satire piece

One of the highest fact-checking web sites, tasked with combatting the unfold of pretend information by the paragons of Silicon Valley advantage, Google and Facebook, has knowingly fact-checked a satirical web site.

In both a gross misuse of time and sources, a lame try at some form of meta-satire or some really cynical and condescending journalism, the article, entitled: “No, Bowe Bergdahl didn’t wander off during court,” was revealed Thursday November 16 by Politifact as a debunk of piece on the Duffel Blog from October.

Politifact explains the background of Bergdahl’s desertion in Afghanistan in 2009, his seize by the Taliban, subsequent launch and return to the US as negotiated by the Obama administration earlier than falling for some obviously apparent bait, courtesy of The Duffel Blog.


“Life is way too short to care for the damnation of others. I am ashamed to even be an American (deserter),” Duffel Blog writer ‘Dirty‘ cites Bergdahl as saying in a written letter, following his alleged walkout from his trial.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of a number of folks on Facebook who flagged the submit as pretend information, Politifact was capable of boldly proclaim, “This story is fake.” The fact-checker then highlights among the extra “ridiculous” components of an clearly tongue-in-cheek story:

“ISIS and Al Qaida have both claimed responsibility for the casualties, though their claims have yet to be verified. The Pentagon offered a reward for information about Bergdahl’s whereabouts: “$25,000 or seven Guantanamo detainees, relying on the credibility of the knowledge.”

“Officials are warning the general public that in the event that they see Bergdahl, they need to not try to method him, since he might attempt to give up and develop into their accountability for the subsequent 5 years,” states the weblog.

Politifact is both completely devoid of a humorousness or dangerously inept at “fact-checking” because it solely factors out the Duffel Blog’s disclaimer within the fourth-last paragraph.

“We are under no circumstances, form, or kind, an actual information outlet,” states the disclaimer. “Everything on this web site is satirical and the content material of this website is a parody of a information group. No composition must be thought to be truthful, and no reference of a person, firm, or army unit seeks to inflict malice or emotional hurt. All characters, teams, and army items showing in these works are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual individuals, residing or useless, or precise army items and corporations is only coincidental.”

A Duffel Blog spokesperson was suitably sardonic in responding to Politifact’s intrepid fact-checker: “Our ‘about’ web page is fairly simple.”

Politifact will not be alone in fact-checking painfully apparent on-line satire: Snopes fact-checked a Babylon Bee story which claimed that televangelist Joel Osteen, who shuttered the doorways of his megachurch to flood victims throughout Hurricane Harvey, was noticed passing out copies of his e-book from his luxurious yacht, the ‘S.S. Blessed’ to stranded survivors.

“Osteen and the Christian tradition of which he is part is a frequent goal of Babylon Bee, however a disclaimer on the backside of the web page reads: The Babylon Bee is Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire,” Snopes factors out to conclude its deep-dive investigation.

The New York Times famous that even these champions of the reality displayed a number of advertisements on their very own web sites that promoted pretend information.

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