If PolitiFact won’t ‘fact-check’ satire, who will?

Rob Eno · November 17, 2017  
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Screenshot | PolitiFact + yayayoyo & sukanda26 | Getty Images

The Duffel Blog is a well-known satire site. The articles are hilarious. If you’ve not read it, think of it as The Onion, but from a military perspective. During the Bowe Bergdahl trial, the site ran a story titled: “Bowe Bergdahl wanders off during court-martial.” You see, it’s funny, because Bergdahl was on trial for desertion. The folks at PolitiFact apparently aren’t in on the joke.

Not only are they not in on the joke, they called the article “Fake News.” Well, yeah. It’s satire.

Yes, PolitiFact actually fact-checked a clearly satirical article. They treated it like it was real, and worse yet, they published the fact-check even after learning that the site is satirical. No, really, they did.

The Duffel Blog calls itself “the American military’s Most Trusted news source” but readers will have to find the disclaimer to learn this is fake news.

“We are in no way, shape, or form, a real news outlet,” states the disclaimer. “Everything on this website is satirical and the content of this site is a parody of a news organization. No composition should be regarded as truthful, and no reference of an individual, company, or military unit seeks to inflict malice or emotional harm. All characters, groups, and military units appearing in these works are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or actual military units and companies is purely coincidental.”

We contacted a person affiliated with the website and he told us, “Our ‘about’ page is pretty straightforward.”

Bergdahl entered a plea during his hearing  he did not wander off. We rate this headline Pants on Fire.

This is why people have a hard time taking PolitiFact seriously, to say the least. It also points to the fact that PolitiFact employees clearlyl don’t have many conservative friends on social media or in real life. My social timelines have at least one or two Duffel Blog satire pieces in them daily. And everyone knows they are a satire outlet.

File under: Things PolitiFact wishes it could take back.


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Author: Rob Eno

Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.