At Real Clear Investigations, Paul Sperry exposed Washington Post "Fact Checker" Glenn Kessler as a partisan who's attempting to wriggle out of getting the Hunter Biden laptop story abysmally wrong at a crucial point in the 2020 election.
His headline poked the Post motto: "For Washington Post's Feared 'Pinocchio' Fact-Checker, Forthrightness Dies in 'Updates' to Biden-Burisma Story."
Kessler's original article in the final weeks of the campaign was headlined, “Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop: An explainer.” Kessler acknowledges it "turned out to be one of the most read articles in our 13-year history."
It wasn't until March 30, 2022, that the Post officially admitted that the "alleged" laptop was real and contained newsworthy contents.
As we found after the 2020 election, 9.4 percent of Biden voters in swing states wouldn’t have voted for him if they had been made aware of his son’s laptop that underlined the family's shameless influence-peddling abroad.
Kessler's "explainer" slavishly adopted the Biden camp’s spin that the then-vice president never met senior Burisma official Vadym Pozharskyi at a Hunter-organized sitdown in Washington on April 16, 2015.
“Officials who worked for Biden at the time told The Fact Checker that no such meeting took place,” Kessler asserted, noting that it was not listed on the former vice president's schedule and that it was unlikely Biden even went to the restaurant. Notice how Kessler's idea of "facts" was whatever the Democrats told him in the final weeks of a campaign. Kessler should talk again to this guy:
“I was with the vice president in all of his meetings on Ukraine,” said Michael Carpenter, Biden’s foreign policy adviser in 2015. “He never met with this guy. In fact, I had never heard of this guy until the New York Post story broke.”
In the latest version, published August 3, Kessler added a parenthetical “update" several paragraphs into the piece that Archer in his deposition “disputed” the recollections of Kessler’s Biden sources about the dinner. In another update inserted later in the story, Kessler acknowledged that “Archer told investigators [Burisma official] Pozharskyi attended the dinner.” (This was an update of a previous update.) Finally, at the end of the story, Kessler again cited Archer’s interview to correct his earlier reporting about a dinner attendee who did not in fact attend the function. But he referred to it as an “update,” instead of a correction.
In its related 2020 story, the Post appended another correction masquerading as an "update" at the bottom of Kessler's piece, which noted that the laptop Kessler implied was “disinformation” had in fact been authenticated.
All told, the Post has run six corrections across its original and revised Kessler stories about the laptop emails and the Biden-Burisma dinner.
Why can't they simply use the word "correction"? And they chide Trump for never admitting error!
Sperry added some fun tidbits. In 2023, Kessler was awarded the Sigma Delta Chi award for a series of fact checks in 2022 surrounding Hunter Biden. In its announcement, the Society of Professional Journalists remarked that Kessler had provided “a very detailed, balanced analysis of a complicated and horrifically convoluted story that spawned a thousand rumors and falsehoods.” Who was spawning falsehoods here??
Sperry also noted Kessler had a bit of a Chuck Todd-style conflict of interest in his own house:
"Consistent with Washington Post policy,” Kessler added, "no one working on The Fact Checker may engage in partisan political activity or make contributions to candidates or advocacy organizations.”
A search of the Federal Election Commission database does not turn up political contributions made by Kessler. However, FEC records reveal that his wife, Cynthia J. “Cindy” Rich, has donated more than $10,000 to the Democratic National Committee and Democratic candidates, including Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. She gave a total of $5,700 to Biden for President and the Biden Victory Fund in 2020. Rich, who gives exclusively to Democrats, previously worked in Bill Clinton’s administration as a policy adviser on commerce and trade.
Kessler was raised in a liberal Democrat household. Kessler’s late mother, Else Bolotin, was a “committed Democrat,” according to a family friend, who started an “Institute for Social Change” in Lexington, Ky., when Kessler lived there in the 1970s.