Because Fact-Checking Satire Is Not Enough, Now the Corporate Media Fact-Checks Memes

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

The fact-checking industry may be the most laughable form of journalism ever. However, content creators should not ignore its influence. Once something is fact-checked as false, it may limit the distribution of the information on social media and web searches. Satire site Babylon Bee has fallen victim to ridiculous fact-checks from the left-leaning site Snopes. As noted by PJ Media at the time:

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This is significant because one satire article Snopes marked as “false” resulted in Facebook threatening the Bee with limitations and demonetization. Facebook rightly apologized, admitting that satire is not the same as fake news, but the incident shows the danger of Snopes’ misleading attacks. Snopes withdrew from its partnership with Facebook in February 2019.

The dopes at Snopes either thought liberals were too stupid to get the joke, they were intentionally misleading to hurt the Bee, or parody and reality are getting more difficult to distinguish.

This weekend the news cycle was so slow, the legacy media fact-checked a meme. It’s not like John Durham just dropped a bombshell, or we appear to be on the verge of a land war in Europe or anything. Nope. The critical issue is a meme mocking CNN and the Biden administration:

Twitter provided the following context when you clicked on the link under “What’s happening”:

“There are no published reports by CNN or any other media outlet matching the claim in the fabricated caption. According to AP reporting, the White House is still unsure if Putin has made any decision to invade Ukraine, though has said that Putin has assembled all the elements to do so quickly.” — AP

“The screenshot was altered and the caption was ‘completely fabricated,’ Sydney Baldwin, a senior publicist at CNN, confirmed to The Associated Press in an email.” — AP

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It appears Jack Posobiec tweeted a meme that began circulating on Reddit several days ago:

AP wasn’t alone in clearing the air. Reuters devoted a few hundred words to debunking the meme as well. The “verdict” paragraph is for idiots:

Digitally altered. A screenshot from a CNN news report with the chyron: “Sources: Putin to delay invasion until Biden delivers weapons to Ukraine for Russia to capture” has been doctored.

Following the fact-check, other users cannot retweet the tweet from Posobiec’s account, and it carries a warning label. As if any thinking human being would take the image as anything but what it is, no matter how Posobiec captioned it. It is a parody of the news. That a meme needs to be explained says a lot about our current moment, but let’s give it a try. As Reuters reported in the fact-check, Moscow has denied any plans to invade Ukraine.

Related: White House Says No Plans to Evacuate Americans From Ukraine. What Could Go Wrong?

Yet, the Biden administration has repeatedly built up the risk of an imminent attack. The State Department has told U.S. citizens to evacuate Ukraine on commercial flights. The administration has plainly stated it has no plans to evacuate American nationals from the country. It has even suggested Americans go to Poland. On Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Russia could invade Ukraine “any day now.”

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The meme obviously plays President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and the overhyped narrative regarding an invasion. It is well-documented that the U.S. left billions of dollars worth of high-tech military equipment at Bagram Air Force Base outside Kabul, Afghanistan. All of it is now in the hands of the Taliban. The meme maker used that as context for why Russia has not invaded, committed a false flag attack, or done any of the other things Sullivan has told the media intelligence reports indicate may happen. Putin is just waiting for the weapons drop.

Over the last ten days, CNN engaged in one of the most protracted navel-gazing exercises in broadcasting ever, following the resignation of President Jeff Zucker for schtupping the help. The emotional defenses of Zucker by the talentless DNC hacks he hired were nauseating at best. So, what other news outlet would get parodied in such a ridiculous chyron? It is only slightly more ridiculous than the chyron during a report from riots in Kenosha, Wis., that read “Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Protests After Police Shooting.” At the same time, the reporter stood in front of buildings engulfed in flames.

Maybe that is why AP and Reuters had to fact-check a meme. CNN has become a parody of its former self, and the Biden administration has been wrong about every foreign policy decision since Inauguration Day. Of course, the latter is par for the course. As Obama’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates famously noted,  Joe Biden has been wrong about every foreign policy proposal for the last fifty years.

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