(JustPatriots.com)- Angie Drobnic Holan, editor-in-chief of PolitiFact, recently published a new article titled “PolitiFact reporters encounter online hate; we keep fact-checking nevertheless.”
Criticism is nothing new for PolitiFact and the majority of fact-checkers and journalists. In light of the growing polarization of our politics and society, they frequently write on contentious topics.
Criticisms and even disputes, according to Holan, are reasonable. So why does she suddenly write about this?
She claims that, recently, fair debate and even fierce criticism have turned into something darker. Personal criticism of PolitiFact writers that can only be characterized as online harassment and intimidation has been increasing.
She concedes that journalists have been attacked repeatedly throughout American history, and since it launched in 2007, PolitiFact has received hate mail. But the most recent attacks have been targeted with the apparent goal of terrifying and isolating specific members of her team. Fair debate has turned into something darker.
Holan says that Dan Bongino, a radio personality, has been one of the most prominent online assailants.
According to Holan, Bongino has misrepresented their results, the extent of their reporting, and the points their fact-checks have made. He has also erroneously cited revisions they made after publication as evidence of the falsity of their research.
Holan says that every respected news source makes changes to ensure that their stories are as thorough and accurate as possible. Following their announced corrections policy, PolitiFact will keep making errors as they usually do work.
More worryingly, according to Holan, Bongino has been encouraged and supported by a more conventional figure: the press secretary for the governor of Florida, Christina Pushaw.
According to Holan, it’s a red flag when the government tries to discredit journalists. She concedes that would be against the law, but recently she’s seen many constitutional principles suffer. Everyone who cares about independent journalism finds these anti-journalism forces very troubling. PolitiFact employees and journalists at media outlets across the nation now face the occupational risk of being demeaned.
Say it isn’t so.