Bizarre State of the Union 'fact checks' fall flat, as media accused of nitpicking

Media outlets bent over backwards Tuesday night to fact check President Trump's State of the Union address -- but were accused of reaching with a string of rapid-response tweets and other analysis that came off as nitpicking.

Politico, for instance, was slammed on social media for declaring that Trump’s claim that “one in three women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north” to America was only partly true -- because it's actually 31 percent.

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Politico’s GIF of the fact check was quickly "ratioed," getting way more negative comments than retweets or likes. Activist Obianuju Ekeocha responded with a woman using a magnifying glass captioned, “Politico fact checkers desperately looking to find the difference between 31% and 1 in 3.”

“Well thank you politico for pointing out to us that he rounded up 2% in his quote,” another user responded.

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"They are fact checks on journalism itself and journalism is proven the worse for it with each stupid allegation.”  

— Dan Gainor

Meanwhile, NPR touted a fact check that critiqued Trump for praising the record number of women in Congress simply because he didn’t mention that most of them are Democrats.

Free Beacon managing editor David Rutz slammed “super-petty” NPR fact check, while social media strategist Caleb Hull pointed out that Trump “never claimed his party was responsible” for the increase in women in Congress.

“God Almighty this is embarrassing, even for the sad annals of fact-checking,” Rutz wrote.

Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor said Wednesday that “so-called ‘fact checks’ are one of the most discredited ways journalists now attack the right.”

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“They are founded in a mix of liberal agenda and a desire to take snarky swipes at the president,” Gainor said. “In reality, they are fact checks on journalism itself and journalism is proven the worse for it with each stupid allegation.”

"Much as politically driven journalism has damaged the credibility of mainstream news media, so too politicized 'fact checking' is destroying the credibility of the fact-checking industry. In the age of Trump, 'fact-checking' too often is just a mask for political attacks," Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson added.

"The ‘fact-checkers’, Hell-bent to prove Trump wrong, have become just another tool of advocacy journalism."

— Chris Barron

Further, New York Times White House correspondent Annie Karni criticized Trump for saying “they came down from heaven” when quoting Holocaust survivor Joshua Kaufman, who was a prisoner at Dachau.

“Jews don't believe in heaven,” the Times reporter tweeted before backtracking after she was challenged by followers.

“Ironically, nowhere is the collapse of objective journalism more on display than with the so-called fact checkers. The ‘fact-checkers’, Hell-bent to prove Trump wrong, have become just another tool of advocacy journalism,” conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News.