How Rittenhouse Fact-Checkers Blew It On Gun Rights

Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP

Once upon a time, I found fact-checkers to be useful. It seems they’d break down the claims and would tell you just what was nonsense, what wasn’t, and often why the nonsense existed.

However, the more I learned and researched on my own, the more often I found the fact-checkers to be completely and totally wrong. They seemingly made up their own “facts” that often had no bearing on reality.

These days, so-called “fact-checkers” get it wrong so often that the term is generally considered by many to be a misnomer.

Take the Rittenhouse case and the gun rights-related facts surrounding it. They really blew it on this one.

In the case against Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, the left-wing corporate fact-checkers did what they do best and made up their own facts, specifically about the then-17-year-old’s right to carry a rifle.

“‘Perfectly legal’ for Rittenhouse to carry a gun? False,” said the leftist Poynter Institute’s Politifact in a phony fact-check, a talking point that picked up steam and undergirded the prosecution’s case against the teen.

Judge Bruce Schroeder put the so-called fact-checkers in their place on Monday, however, when he dismissed the misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous weapon, a charge that had previously been considered the easiest for the state to prove.

It’s really not surprising that Politifact slapped a bogus fact-check on the true statement about Rittenhouse’s rights. That’s not only because the author of it has written phony fact-checks in the past, such as claiming that Joe Biden didn’t spend the dignified transfer ceremony of the 13 service members killed outside the Kabul airport repeatedly checking his watch, an erroneous fact-check that later added a massive “correction” and completely changed the meaning of the headline.

When it comes to gun rights, many people really don’t understand what is and isn’t law. That’s folks on both sides of the debate–though at least people on the pro-gun side are typically only interested in “shall not be infringed” and figure anything that goes against that is morally and legally wrong–but it’s especially problematic when you’re a supposed fact-checker.

So what happened with this one?

There are, of course, a few possibilities and they’re not mutually exclusive. One is simple laziness. The so-called fact-checker saw it wasn’t legal for Rittenhouse to have the rifle, so they just wrote it up as such rather than digging any deeper. This, of course, is a mortal sin as a fact-checker.

Another is extreme bias. The fact-checker in question is so in the bag for the left that they simply parroted what they wanted to believe and with the help of confirmation bias, simply reported what they wanted to be true.

Finally, there’s the possibility that they’re just a complete idiot.

Again, none of these are mutually exclusive. It’s certainly possible for all three to be true.

Regardless, they certainly blew it on the Rittenhouse thing and are a prime example of just why people are lacking trust in fact-checkers in this day and age.