The self-proclaimed fact-checking site Snopes seemed to contradict itself on Wednesday when it claimed the allegation that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t in the Capitol building during the riot was ‘mostly false’ and then stated that it was true.
The New York Democrat originally claimed on Instagram that she believed she was going to die during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. She claimed to hear rioters outside her office door and that she hid in a bathroom for cover. It was later revealed that Ocasio-Cortez was never in the Capitol building as the chaos ensued. Her critics are claiming that she exaggerated or lied concerning her experience that day.
On Wednesday, Bethania Palma of Snopes fact-checked this particular claim: “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez exaggerated the danger she was in during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, in that she ‘wasn’t even in the Capitol building’ when the rioting occurred.” They labeled the accusation as being “mostly false.”
Immediately following that ruling, in their “what’s true” section, Snopes admitted that, “Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t in the main Capitol building where the House and Senate Chambers are located.” That confused many people and led to claims of Snopes exhibiting left-leaning bias by providing cover for AOC’s false claims.
Ocasio-Cortez was indeed not in the Capitol building but instead was in her Congressional office in the Cannon House Office Building. That office is approximately a quarter of a mile from the Capitol and is connected to it by an underground tunnel. Her office was not breached by rioters.
The Snopes edict appeared very biased in nature. “In a circus of cyberbullying that began on Feb. 3, 2021, conservative news outlets and social media conspiracy trolls latched on to the misleading claim that Ocasio-Cortez ‘wasn’t in the Capitol building’ and therefore was not in harm’s way, as she had described in the Instagram video,” Palma stated.
“Ocasio-Cortez was attacked on social media with bad-faith attempts to discredit her story by people who falsely claimed she exaggerated the danger she was in because she wasn’t actually inside the main Capitol building where the House and Senate chambers are located,” Palma also said. But she did not clarify what ‘bad faith’ entails and she did not address the apparently false claims by the lawmaker.
It took less than 48 hours for the right-wing disinformation machine to contrive a way to minimize what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she had experienced. https://t.co/4ItjP4n8Gh
— snopes.com (@snopes) February 4, 2021
On social media, the fact-check was torn apart for its bias.
Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon tweeted: “They acknowledge the claim is true, then go on to rate it ‘mostly false,’ anyway. @snopes is shameless.”
The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro slammed Snopes for labeling their headline on AOC’s claims as “misleading”: “This is a weird fact-check from Snopes. I mean, they say that ‘what’s true’ is EXACTLY what the DW tweet says. Then they call the DW tweet ‘misleading.’ Almost as though they’re just a Left-wing spin outfit.”
The Daily Caller’s Logan Hall snarked what was at the heart of the issue with Snopes: “basically, this snopes fact check was morally correct, but not factually accurate.”
NewsBusters analyst Nicholas Fondacaro succinctly pointed out that the Snopes fact-check had nothing to do with facts: “Snopes and Bethania Palma (author of this piece of crap) are not about the facts or the truth. They’re hacks trying to provide cover for a liar because they agree politically.”
Snopes seems to have focused on the emotions of Ocasio-Cortez and that people were mean to her when she claimed she was in danger. But the facts tell a different story here.
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