What better news to fact-check than one that capitalizes words and attacks people and political parties in just the headline alone?
The second I saw this one from The Federalist Papers Project, I knew I had struck gold. In this article, Calvin Freiburger attacks both Tim Kaine as well as Obamacare itself, claiming that both are wrapped up in countless lies and fraud. This idea is based around an op-ed written by a man named Jon Decker–stating that senators such as Tim Kaine are exempt from paying Obamacare–as well as the response from Kaine himself.
My first move in determining just how true or false this claim is was to check out the website itself. With no former knowledge myself about this website, I decided to check out Wikipedia; however, the only result I was rewarded with was one regarding the actual, historical, Federalist Papers. In that case, I decided to instead read laterally to see what other websites were saying about this one. Before I even got done typing in “The federalist papers project” into Google though, I was already coming up with searches regarding this being fake news, as well as a Snopes search.
Checking out the snopes result, I found 3 previous fact-checks from The Federalist Papers Project, with two of them being false and only one, true. Just to check, I typed in the title of this article in the snopes search bar, but didn’t come up with a fact-check on it.
Going back to Google, I searched “thefederalistpaper.org -site:thefederalistpaper.org”, went three pages in, and could not find one result from a reputable source. There was; however, information about this site from other websites unknown to me.
The idea that this website is “right-winged” does seem true anyways, though, considering its content (“liberal media covers it up”).
Since, based on the snopes search, this website seems to provide more fake than real news, I went back to the original article to go upstream and try to find original source for this information. The first link is one to an op-ed piece by American Commitment membership director Jon Decker in The Roanoak Times. Since this website is mentioned more than once throughout the article, I decided to fact-check it. From Wikipedia, I discovered that it is the primary newspaper for Virginia, and there is no further information for this being a bias new source. However, the fact that it is solely based on Virginia and nowhere else in the U.S. leads me to believe that it at least has some sort of bias. Also, reading through it, I found that there were no links to other sources and although there are “facts” included, there isn’t really a way to know just from this source if they’re true. Even the way it is written suggests an opinionated point of view.
Further down in the original article, there is another link, this time to an article on The Federalist about the exchange between Tim Kaine and Jon Deker, linking both to the op-ed mentioned before and then Kaine’s response. In this article, though, the first sentence states that Jon Decker, the one who wrote the original op-ed piece, is “one of us”, as in a partner of The Federalist website. Along with this, their only defense of Jon Decker’s piece is to attack a Politifact article that Tim Kaine used in his response,
and provide a screenshot of a Twitter post showing a slight change in Tim Kaine’s article on The Roanoke Times. The article in The Federalist Papers Project also used this Twitter post as their argument.
First of all, the person who Tweeted this, Phil Kerpen, is himself a colleague of Jon Decker, exposing his bias, as well as the bias of The Federalist website.
Second of all, the idea that attacking Politifact is a valid argument is false in itself, considering we know that Politifact is a reliable fact-checking website.
And if we need anymore proof, typing “Tim Kaine caught in idiotic Obamacare lie” into google provides me with only two results: one from The Federalist Papers Project, and the other from The Federalist.
Is seems very possible that, based on the Twitter post, Kaine made a mistake in his description and it was simply edited to fix it? However, in the main argument surrounding the idea that “Obama ‘just granted all of Congress an exception’ to Obamacare”, we can all see that this is false based on Politifact, leading Calvin Freiburger’s article on The Federalist Papers Project to be false as well.