For Love Or Clickbait? Snopes.com Leaps To Correct Obviously Silly Ocasio-Cortez Items

Posted on Thu 04/18/2019 by

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By Tim Graham ~

Snopes.com claims to be a fact-checking website, but its recent rash of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defense items suggests it’s a liberal clickbait site. There are five items just in the first 15 days of April. None of them evaluate if AOC mangled facts. They’re all on defense.

— April 15: “Did U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Repeatedly Guess ‘Free’ on TV Show The Price is Right?” False. Who is dumb enough to believe this one? (People who believe CNN has a large washing machine for new stories, apparently.) The humorous but obviously fake photo was created by the Christian satire site Babylon Bee, a Snopes nemesis. But Snopes suggested in an accompanying video that “Without context, it’s inevitable in today’s misinformation age that some people will see, believe, and keep scrolling.”

— April 8: “Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Propose a Nationwide Motorcycle Ban?False. “On 6 April 2019, the ‘Taters Gonna Tate’ website falsely reported that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) had proposed a ‘nationwide ban’ on motorcycle use in the U.S.” She noted the website has a disclaimer that everything on the site is “fiction.”

Bethania Palma explained: “Ocasio-Cortez, who at 29 is the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress, is the frequent target of inflammatory clickbait, hoaxes, and conspiracy theories.”

This is not that historic a distinction: New York Republican Elise Stefanik was the youngest woman at age 30 when she took the oath in 2015, and New York Republican Susan Molinari was the youngest woman at 31 when she was sworn in to replace her father Guy Molinari in 1990. (Neither was a media darling — wrong party.)

— April 6: “Did Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Forget to Vote for Her Own Bill?” False. At least this is a more plausible fact claim, even if the source is some meme from “The Real Animal Farm.” Over a photo of AOC, it reads “The face you make when you lose 0-57 then realize you didn’t vote for your own bill.” David Mikkelsen, the site’s co-founder, didn’t link to the meme.

The Republican Senate voted on a “Green New Deal” bill on March 26 to put Democrats on the record. The House Democrats would not. One would think voting Americans would know there are more than 57 people in the House of Representatives.

— April 4: “Did Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Claim Walls Could Not Be Built in Mountains?” Unproven. It took some time to find and decry this one, from a February 22 Facebook post by Congressman Steve King that quoted AOC as saying “All the technology in the world won’t let us built a wall in Mountains!” They couldn’t verify the quote, and King’s staff wasn’t talking.

— April 3: “Did U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Graduate Cum Laude from Boston University?” True. This piece was pure Democrat defense, since no one said she didn’t have a college degree. Snopes protested that President Trump called her a “bartender,” which she was. Tucker Carlson called her a “moron,” which doesn’t mean she didn’t graduate college.

It’s quite funny, after all this, that on April 14 in a news section, Snopes posted an AP story headlined “Study: Fox News Is Obsessed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” As if liberal outlets are not!

We have rated these Snopes “fact checks” as Half Baked. For similar analyses, please visit our Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers site.

Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters. He is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center.

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