Facebook’s so-called independent fact-checker Lead Stories is a biased outfit bristling with ex-CNN staffers that presents itself as neutral, despite most of its employees having donated to the Democratic Party.
The National Pulse (TNP), whose story about supposed financial links between Black Lives Matter, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and fundraiser ActBlue was flagged as “partly false” by Lead Stories on Facebook.
After some digging on Wednesday to find out who was behind the smear, their efforts to contest the label apparently got stonewalled.
What they discovered was an organization staffed almost entirely by Democratic donors, half (50%) of whom had worked for CNN in the past. A quarter (25%) of the employees were recurring Democratic donors, showing clear conflict off interest?
Lead Stories founder Perry Sanders has donated over $10,000 to Democratic political campaigns, including Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s presidential runs, TNP showed, providing copious links to back up the laundry list of partisan affiliations it had stumbled across.
Several other writers had Democratic contributions on their records too. One, Gita Smith, was listed in 99 separate small-dollar donations to various Democratic candidates, as well as some contributions directly to ActBlue and the activism group Indivisible.
Editor-in-chief Alan Duke, who had initially rebuffed TNP’s editor’s request to have its fact-check reconsidered, spent nearly three decades with CNN as a reporter and editor, while senior editor Monte Plott spent over a decade with the Trump-loathing network. Five other names on the group’s masthead had also worked at CNN at some point.
Nor were CNN and the Democratic Party the only partisan affiliations to be found among the Lead Stories staff. Before spending 10 years with CNN, writer Jessica Ravitz – who spends most of her time demonizing political voices that deviate from the neo-liberal centrist mainstream-media line.
What has been called into question is the idea of Lead Stories as an independent fact-checker.
While Facebook defended it by pointing out that Lead Stories is certified by the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), such a designation is unlikely to put any doubts to rest.
Poynter and the IFCN are supported by bogeymen of bias like eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar and currency speculator George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2020.