News & Politics

Snopes Fact-Checkers Strangely Silent on NY Times' Kavanaugh Smear

Snopes Fact-Checkers Strangely Silent on NY Times' Kavanaugh Smear

Clarification: PJ Media received a legal notice from Snopes claiming this story was incorrect in asserting that Snopes was silent on fact-checking the New York Times’ smear of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Snopes contacted us to point out that they had published syndicated content from the Associated Press—not original articles—about the New York Times episode. Our article was specifically calling Snopes out for not fact-checking the Times’ Kavanaugh story with their typical “True, False, Mostly True, Outdated,” etc., ratings. PJ Media’s article clearly was commenting on the lack of a scored fact check on the matter rather than outside stories that you can find on thousands of other websites that carry AP syndicated articles. 

With this weekend’s high-profile screw-up by the New York Times—publishing (and then walking back) salacious, unsubstantiated sexual assault accusations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh that even the alleged victim says she doesn’t recall—you’d think the self-described “definitive fact-checkers” at Snopes, those paragons of holier-than-thou virtue who are supposed to be holding America accountable, would have weighed in on the veracity of the story. You would be wrong—although I suspect astute PJM readers never expected them to play this story fairly.

If you search for “New York Times” at Snopes, you have to go all the way back to September 2018 for a story about how the Times had to walk back their claim that then-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley spent $52,000 on curtains for her official residence in New York (she didn’t, but why let that get in the way of a good smear). And if you want to get technical, Snopes didn’t actually fact check the story—it’s listed as a “News” item on their website.

A search for “Brett Kavanaugh” finds the most recent entry dated November 2018:

The Snopes fact check acknowledged that the FBI investigation into the Kavanaugh matter stated unequivocally that “there is no corroboration of the allegations made by Dr. Ford or Ms. Ramirez.” But that wasn’t good enough for our moral, intellectual, and ethical betters at Snopes, who concluded: “The FBI’s conclusion allowed that the allegations against Kavanaugh might indeed have all been false, but it did not rule out the possibility that one or more of them might have been true.” You remember how this works: Guilty until proven innocent if you’re a Republican. File this under “factually true but inconvenient for Democrats.”

If they were anything other than partisan hacks, and even halfway honest, Snopes would have fact-checked the snot out of the New York Times opinion piece (written by partisan hacks trying to hawk books) who left out a critical detail in describing an alleged sexual assault committed by Kavanaugh—namely that the purported victim says she has no recollection of the events described. The charge—that Kavanaugh showed his junk to Deborah Ramirez at a drunken college party—has been litigated (and relitigated and litigated again) for the sole purpose of delegitimizing President Trump, delegitimizing the now-conservative-leaning Supreme Court, and whipping the Democratic base into a frenzy ahead of the 2020 election. Snopes, an unofficial organ of the Democratic Party, obviously wants no part of getting this story right. It’s all for the greater good—truth be damned. (And in case you’re wondering, a search of the fact checks at PolitiFact,, AP Fact Check, and also turned up—shock!—nothing on the Times’ fake news story.)

Look, I’m not saying Snopes is taking their marching orders from the DNC, but since they haven’t proven they’re not, I can’t in good faith assume they’re innocent, and you shouldn’t either. (Alinsky Rule #4.)

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