Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Goes After Fact-Checkers for “False Equivalency” Bias

Kirsters Baish| Mere days after taking office, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York went after fact-checkers, claiming that they were guilty of “false equivalency” and being “biased” against her in examining her comments.

On Monday, the Democratic Socialist went after PolitiFact and The Washington Post fact-check unit for going after her, specifically, according to her.

“Facts are facts, America. We should care about getting things right. Yet standards of who gets fact-checked, how often + why are unclear,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a Monday tweet. “This is where false equivalency + bias creeps in, allowing climate deniers to be put on par w/ scientists, for example.”

Ocasio-Cortez made the argument that these columns should be offering up more scrutiny to President Donald Trump and his administration. She never came out and denied the claims made by the fact-checkers about her. She claimed that PolitiFact had fact-checked her the “same” amount of times as they had checked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

She wrote, “For example, it looks like @PolitiFact has fact-checked Sarah Huckabee Sanders and myself the *same* amount of times: 6. She’s been serving for 2 years. I’ve served 4 days. Why is she fact-checked so little? Is she adhering to some standard we don’t know about?”

In another tweet, she wrote, “Another question for @politifact: some officials’ statements (ex. Andrew Cuomo) get rated ‘true’ frequently. I say true things all the time – I’d hope most do. When does Politifact choose to rate true statements? Is there a guide? I’d be happy to repost if there is.”

A Washington Post journalist, an outlet that isn’t shy about publishing a fact-check column that gives out “Pinocchios” based on “the level of falsehood in statements made, hit back, noting there is a way to ‘avoid’ being fact-checked — and stressing they scrutinize the Trump administration plenty,” according to Fox News.

“No one likes to be fact-checked. There’s a simple way to avoid it. And there’s a big difference between the colossal amount of time we spend fact-checking Trump (7,645 false/misleading claims and counting) and TWO fact-checks of @AOC,” Washington Post reporter Sal Rizzo wrote in a tweet.

It seemed as if the Democratic Socialist began to back down at this point.

“Fact-checking is critically important. It’s not always fun. But that’s okay! It pushes me to be better. It is important that if fact-checkers are referees, everyone know the rules –and those rules be as clear + fair as possible for all to play,” she continued. “Thank you for the work you do.”

During an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez was questioned about the criticism she had received over factual errors. She made the argument that it is more important to be “morally right.”

“I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.

“But it’s not the same thing as the president lying about immigrants. It’s not the same thing at all,” she went on.