The 10 worst fact checks of 2021, and why they matter

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2021 marked another year of brazenly slanted media coverage, and the “fact-checking” industry, who’ve long cast themselves as impartial arbiters of truth, was no exception.

With former President Trump out of office and President Biden at the helm, media fact-checkers vowed to cover his presidency with the same tenacity afforded to his predecessor. But those tasked with verifying political claims and holding the powerful accountable spent much of the year fueling their critics with reporting that far more resembled partisan, left-leaning opinion than a just-the-facts approach.

Critics say fact checks have become “fetishized” in the mainstream press as more declarative of the truth than a traditional news report, with eye-catching ratings like PolitiFact’s “Pants On Fire” or the Washington Post’s “Four Pinocchios.” 

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