A conservative blogger at The Daily Caller has provoked a fierce response from fact-checking site Snopes.com notable for its length and tone.At issue is whether Snopes writer Kim LaCapria is “playing defense for prominent Democrats like Hillary Clinton.”
Daily Caller associate editor Peter Hasson on Friday posted a 570-word critique of LaCapria under the headline “Fact-Checking Snopes: Website’s Political ‘Fact-Checker’ Is Just A Failed Liberal Blogger.”
Hasson alleged that her posts at Inquisitr, her former employer, “consistently displayed clear partisanship.”
“Her columns apparently failed to impress her readership, oftentimes failing to get more than 10-20 shares,” Hasson wrote.
Two days later, Snopes founder David Mikkelson called out The Daily Caller.
In a 2,600-word defense of LaCapria, Mikkelson derided Hasson (without naming him) for his “slanted and factually-challenged output debunked here at snopes.com.”
“Instead of acknowledging and correcting his mistakes, he tried to deflect attention from them by attacking the person who had the temerity to point them out, our own Kim LaCapria,” Mikkelson said in a point-by-point critique.
“In his rant, said writer … exhibited all the same flaws that have plagued his usual ‘reporting’ — misrepresenting source material, eliding or ignoring relevant information, selective quoting, cherry-picking, lack of context — right from the very outset.”
Mikkelson said journalists have opinions but argued that they can still do their jobs of reporting accurately and fairly.
“I realize this is quite possibly a novel idea to the Daily Caller writer, but here at snopes.com we employ fact-checkers and editors who review and amend (as necessary) everything we publish to ensure its fairness and accuracy rather than just allowing our writers to pass off biased, opinionated, slanted, skewed, and unethically partisan work as genuine news reporting.
“Perhaps some Daily Caller writers could give that approach a try sometime.”
Snopes has been accused of liberal bias for years. As far back as 2008, the hoax-busting site was depicted as “owned by a flaming liberal and this man is in the tank for Obama.”
A competing site said: “You’d think it would be easy for someone so blithely asserting that the owners of Snopes.com are ‘flaming liberals’ to offer evidence that they’re ‘in the tank’ for Obama and ‘covering up’ for him. None is provided.”
LaCapria is taking the debate in stride, even making fun of herself in her bio. She says she began writing for Snopes “due to an executive order unilaterally passed by President Obama during a secret, late-night session (without the approval of Congress).”
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