February 7, 2023

House Republicans are demanding answers from the Poynter Institute, one of the country’s most influential “fact-checkers,” to President Joe Biden’s definition of “recession,” according to a letter obtained exclusively by Breitbart News.

Although the standard definition of a recession is two consecutive fiscal quarters with negative GDP growth, Biden argued that the term should not apply to the current US economy.

In a White House blog last week, the Biden administration offered a new “comprehensive” definition of economic recession.

White House Wrote:

What is stagnation? While some see two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP constitute a recession, this is neither the official definition nor the way economists assess the state of the business cycle.

Instead, both official determinations of recessions and economists’ assessment of economic activity are based on a comprehensive view of data—including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and income.

After Biden decided the country was not in a recession given his preferred definition, fact-checking sites ran with Biden’s announcement and began a “fact check” who used the two traditional chapters to define negative growth.

PolitiFact, which has a fact-checking partnership with parent company Meta on Facebook and Instagram, classified The claim that Biden changed the definition of the recession as “wrong” and flagged posts that referred to it as “false” or “disinformation.”

in message Republican members of the House of Representatives on Energy and Commerce, led by senior member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), demanded before PolitiFact’s parent company answers about how the company did fact-checking and whether it colluded with the Biden administration.

President Joe Biden speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, Thursday, July 28, 2022. The drumbeat of recession grew after the US economy contracted for the second consecutive quarter, as decades of high inflation undermined consumer spending and federalism. High reserve interest rates hampered business and housing. (Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Republicans in the House argueIt is imperative that Poynter be transparent and accountable in its operation and address any potential conflicts of interest.

The letter cited other examples of “fact-checking” stories on social media as false and eventually proven true. For example, they indicated that social media sites are banned New York Post She called her reports on Hunter Biden’s laptop “Russian disinformation,” although there was no evidence to support their fake posters.

The message He also referred to reports earlier in the year that the Biden administration was using federal funds to purchase crack pipes for “safe smoking paraphernalia,” which fact-checkers called false, though this has been proven true.

“Recently, PolitiFact has incorrectly classified third-party content that challenges the Biden administration’s definition of a recession as ‘false information,'” the letter read.

Even McMorris Rodgers pointed Former President Bill Clinton (Democrat) defined a recession by the traditional definition of two consecutive quarters.

The letter argued that PolitiFact’s actions run counter to Poynter’s core principles, which state that “unbiased and transparent fact-checking can be a powerful tool in accountability journalism.”

“Our country was founded on a battle of ideas and a vigorous debate on the state of our nation,” the letter said. “Holding our government accountable through fact-based journalism, including discrediting the White House’s claims, is fundamental to our democracy.”

the message continued:

However, fact-checkers weigh in on the active debate by labeling views that are opposed to the Biden administration or would effectively damage Democrats’ electoral goals because “false information” blindly accepts the administration’s claims as fact and damages the credibility of any dissenting voices. .

Not only does this appear to violate Poynter’s core principles, but it creates an echo chamber of misinformation for active debate participants, contrary to the stated purpose of Poynter and fact-checkers.

The letter asked the Poynter Institute for answers about who develops its own fact-checking standards, how fact-checkers are certified, and whether any fact-checkers have approached the Biden administration about the definition of an updated stagnation.

Parliament also pressure Poynter Instate to provide their definition of misinformation and whether users have the ability to challenge fact-checker accreditation if they flag content inaccurate.

In addition to Representative McMorris Rodgers, Representatives Fred Upton (R-Michigan), Robert Latta (R-Ohio), Brett Guthrie (R-Kentucky), David McKinley (R-Va), H. Morgan Griffith (R-Ohio). Virginia), and Jose Bellerakis (R-Florida) signed the letter.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him Twitter.

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