Florida-based PolitiFact picked a fight with Christina Pushaw, the press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and she didn’t shrink from the fight.
PolitiFact editor Angie Drobnic Holan wrote a fundraising piece titled “PolitiFact reporters face online harassment; we keep fact-checking anyway.“ It was all bragging about their courageous "fact checking," and she linked to a Donate page:
Our readers remain a huge source of solace in the face of online attacks. Many of them support us financially with monthly donations. They share our reports online and publicly comment that they appreciate our work. Others contact us directly with simple words of support sent via email or on social media. We are here to serve those who seek fact-based, civil expression.
Holan said one of their primary attackers has been Dan Bongino. "His chief talking points are conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was stolen and attacks on COVID-19 prevention measures such as masking. It’s not really a surprise that he hates fact-checkers; he’s said it’s an insult to be called a journalist." Then she added:
More concerningly, Bongino has egged on and been egged on by a more traditional figure: the press secretary for the governor of Florida. Those outside of Florida political circles may not have heard of Christina Pushaw. Rather than responding to journalists’ press inquiries in a standard manner, Pushaw will attack them on Twitter, urging online mobs to vilify things that are legitimate practices of journalism. She tells others not to respond to our requests for comment and has falsely suggested that reporters said things they didn’t.
The PolitiFact boss added: "When the government itself tries to delegitimize journalists, it’s a warning sign that they may soon take more concrete steps against independent journalism....The actions of these anti-journalism forces are deeply concerning to everyone who cares about the independent practice of fact-finding."
They're "independent." Oppose them, and you're "anti-journalism." These are their "Facts."
Pushaw was Christina Pushback:
So now it's "harassment" to point out that an email from a reporter reveals incompetence and bias?— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) June 13, 2022
But the same reporters can baselessly accuse my boss all day of much worse, with zero pushback and full support from their editors?
Nah, we are not playing that game anymore. https://t.co/aBN5d4jCZt pic.twitter.com/Tul4zUPpNN
Partisan activists who masquerade as "journalists" degrade and delegitimize their own profession. https://t.co/k0OoT0DYeY— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) June 13, 2022
PolitiFact can't handle the idea that it has a selection-bias problem. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has 166 fact-checks (due to running for president in part). His expected Democrat opponent, Rep. Val Demings, has... three.
Let's just revisit another comparison I tweeted a few weeks ago, DeSantis vs. some Democrat governors:
PolitiFact Targeting— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) May 5, 2022
DeSantis: 34 fact checks (19 Mostly False or worse)
Gretchen Whitmer: 1 Mostly True
Jay Inslee: 4 fact checks, all Mostly True
Kate Brown: 2 fact checks, 1 True, 1 Mostly False
John Bel Edwards: 1 True, 1 Mostly True
Andy Beshear: None
Ned Lamont: None https://t.co/l9uswiyBC6