Twitter Owner Elon Musk called out left-wing fact checker Snopes on Thursday for allegedly trying to discredit the Daily Caller, based on documents obtained by America First Legal.
America First Legal, a conservative legal group, obtained documents from a FOIA lawsuit against the State Department allegedly showing how the Global Engagement Center (GEC) coordinates with “a global cartel of ‘independent’ ‘fact-checkers’ led by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies (which operates Politifact) and members of its International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).”
The GEC is an office within the State Department tasked with combatting disinformation, and it previously funded a British nonprofit that created a blacklist of conservative media organizations. America First Legal claims the IFCN works to “exclude other media organizations with whom they disagree” from the fact-checking process. (RELATED: ‘The Answer Is Nuanced’: Musk Says Biden Won In 2020 But Trump’s Election Fraud Claims Are Not Entirely False)
“For example, David Mikkelson of @snopes attempted to discredit the @DailyCaller to kick them out of their Google Groups on ‘Combatting Fake News: The Science of Misinformation,’ even though another member raised the point that Daily Caller had the same ‘source-credibility’ score as CNN and MSNBC.”
/13 For example David Mikkelson of @snopes attempted to discredit the @DailyCaller to kick them out of their Google Groups on “Combating Fake News: The Science of Misinformation,” even though another member raised the point that Daily Caller had the same “source-credibility”… pic.twitter.com/MQk7xfchqr
— America First Legal (@America1stLegal) May 24, 2023
The attached email sent in February 2021 showed Mikkelson questioning “who or what funds the Daily Caller’s fact-checking arm” while another individual, Dean Jackson, said “I personally wouldn’t lend them the credibility” with links to a Snopes article and a Daily Caller article about liberal activism in public schools. Check Your Fact is an independent fact-checker owned by the Daily Caller and part of the IFCN.
An investigation by Buzzfeed News in August 2021 showed Mikkelson used plagiarized material for dozens of articles written under a pseudonym, the Snopes byline and his own name.
Musk responded to the America First Legal thread by calling out Snopes directly.
“What say you, @snopes?” Musk tweeted.
What say you, @snopes?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 25, 2023
America First Legal went on to note that a PolitiFact checker relied on the “GEC to debunk a ‘claim [that] stems from the letter that GOP senators wrote to the Biden Administration,’ even though the GEC was under the Biden Admin.”
The thread also delved into how the Hunter Biden laptop story was suppressed and called out a national security reporter at The Washington Post. The outlet verified the contents of Biden’s laptop in March 2022.