The conservative Media Research Center (MRC) is pushing back on the claim by Democrats that Republicans are the party in support of defunding the police following weeks of attempts to flip the narrative onto the GOP.
In a Wednesday column, the MRC blasted the claim as “a bald-faced lie,” calling out media fact-checkers for defending Democrats and accusing them of being part of a “Democrat protection racket.”
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Besides a recent article from the Washington Post that gave the Biden White House “Three Pinocchios” for the claim and another critical piece from FactCheck.org, prominent fact-checkers have been silent on such statements.
“Here’s an easy test to see whether fact-checking websites can make any claim to be ‘independent’ and nonpartisan in tone. Biden staffers claimed Republicans ‘defunded the police.’ That’s a bald-faced lie,” wrote Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham.
In June, White House advisor Cedric Richmond claimed Republicans “defunded the police” by voting against the $1.9-trillion American Rescue Plan this year, which he said included funding for “crime intervention and a whole bunch of other things.”
Prior to Richmond’s claim, White House press secretary Jen Psaki made a similar suggestion.
“[The American Rescue Plan] was voted into law by Democrats just a couple of months ago. Some might say that the other party was for defunding the police; I’ll let others say that, but that’s a piece,” she said.
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Graham criticized the lack of pushback from media members who purport to be non-partisan.
“Fact-checking sites that are still dogged Trump critics somehow skipped over this one. AP Fact Check was AWOL. CNN’s Daniel Dale and his team couldn’t locate this one. Snopes.com spent time on scintillating articles like ‘Is This a Reindeer with Glow-in-the-Dark Antlers?’ and ‘Is This 3D Cat Really Just a Flat Billboard?’” Graham wrote.
“PolitiFact has given a free pass to Jen Psaki. She doesn’t even have a page on PolitiFact. There are no fact checks, almost six months into Biden’s term. There’s also no page for Cedric Richmond, who served ten years in the House before advising Biden,” he added.
Graham acknowledged the Washington Post and FactCheck.org articles who refuted the White House’s statements.
“Even after the Pinocchio-throwing, NBC News shamelessly ran a Biden-boosting article on July 8 from Sahil Kapur and Shannon Pettypiece titled ‘White House: Actually, it’s Republicans who are trying to defund the police,'” Graham added.
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“Some reporters are Biden stenographers, and some ‘fact checkers’ are a Democrat protection racket,” he wrote.