Column: When 'Pants On Fire' Fact Checks Are About Biden's Pants

February 17th, 2023 5:59 AM

The so-called “fact checkers” are energetic defenders of Joe Biden – almost like they’re his siblings or his nephews. No cockeyed critique of Biden is silly enough for them to forego the urgent need to “check.” They’re perpetually poised to pounce!

PolitiFact gave us two examples on February 10. Both were “Pants On Fire” warnings, but only one was about pants. The headline was “Joe Biden put his pants on backwards,” and their headline continued: “We know all about pants. Doctored image falsely shows Joe Biden wearing his backward.”

Jeff Cercone reported that had already corrected this back in October from a photo taken in Puerto Rico, but for some reason, PolitiFact had to leap on the latest iteration from Instagram, from a Trump fan named Mindy Robinson. “Holy s—, Biden put his pants on backwards.”

“Words below the image point to parts of the photo that allege to show Biden’s pants having no fly in the front, a belt loop where the buckle should be and a backward pocket,” reported Cercone. “Having previously rejected a claim that purported to show President Donald Trump also wearing his pants backward — we were suspicious.” Click on that link, and you’ll find that their Trump backward-pants claim was merely “False,” and not “Pants on Fire,” even though it was also about pants.

Cercone concluded: “The photo in the Instagram post claiming Biden wore his pants backwards is clearly a fake. We rate this claim Pants (worn correctly) on Fire!” In the first ten days in February, Cercone logged four “fact checks” defending Biden on the internet.

On the same day, Ciara O’Rourke (whose job is primarily policing Facebook posts) devoted her energies to “Photos show someone in a President Joe Biden mask at the State of the Union.

The Facebook offender was an account named “Kelly Marie Brady,” who has 63,000 followers. There is no biographical information – no friends, no nothing. The cover photo does show a cartoon of a woman sitting inside a tank with a big “Q” on it for Q-Anon. This could be an anti-Trump parody account, for all we know. Either way, it’s not something most of us would consider a credible source of information.

One post showing awkward photos of Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer says, “What in the mask world is goin' on hither? Oh lawdy.” It doesn’t remotely look like anyone in a Halloween mask.

A second was more overt, with two pictures of Biden: “Seems we had a mask issue last night, amongst many. One earlobe attached, one not.”

O’Rourke explained: “People commenting on the posts echoed what’s implied here: Biden — not to mention Harris and Schumer — weren’t actually at the State of the Union. But people wearing masks pretending to be them were.”

How could anyone who’s seen ten seconds of video from the speech think imposters in Biden or Harris masks were there? It doesn’t matter. PolitiFact thinks Facebook is stuffed with conservative morons.

In conclusion, the PolitiFact schoolmarm wrote: “These claims are unfounded, and fodder that we’ve dug into before, as people see skin folds, shadows and age as evidence of a plot to mislead the public about who the commander in chief really is. It’s Biden, and on Feb. 8, he delivered a speech before Congress.”

When your job is to throw red flags at Facebook and Instagram posts, these are low-hanging fruit. Let’s hope very few would disagree on the “facts.” But the pro-Biden aggression is as obvious as wearing your pants the right way.