NYT Deploys 29 Fact-Checkers For Trump-Biden Debate, Targeting Trump

The New York Times has announced that over 60 journalists, including an obnoxious 29 fact-checkers, will cover the debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on Thursday night. This large team signals a clear focus on Trump, as indicated by the Times’ own framing of the event.

In their article previewing the debate coverage, the Times pointedly introduced the debate by highlighting Trump’s legal issues: “How do you cover a historic presidential debate that includes a candidate convicted of 34 felonies in what he has called, without evidence, a ‘rigged trial,’ and that will air on TV absent an audience?” This statement, notably excluding any mention of Biden, reveals their intent to scrutinize Trump heavily.

The controversy surrounding Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump, which has been criticized for its perceived judicial bias, is a focal point for the Times. The report appears intent on emphasizing Trump’s legal challenges, despite arguments from both sides about the fairness of the trial.

The Times will livestream the debate and provide comprehensive coverage, including real-time fact-checking. However, the reliability of fact-checkers has been questioned. Recently, Snopes admitted that the claim Trump referred to neo-Nazis as “very fine people” was false, an error they corrected only after seven years. Such instances cast doubt on the objectivity of fact-checking organizations.

Fact-checking entities like Snopes and PolitiFact have had notable missteps. PolitiFact once fact-checked a satirical Babylon Bee article, failing to recognize it as satire. These incidents highlight concerns about the efficacy and bias of fact-checkers.

With Trump set to debate Biden, he faces not only his political opponent but also a media perceived as biased against him. The extensive fact-checking efforts by the Times are likely to influence public perception, with their coverage scrutinizing Trump’s every statement. As the debate unfolds, the focus will be on how these fact-checkers interpret and present the candidates’ statements to the electorate.