Note: Sadly, Tim’s story below is not unusual. The frequency of attacks by liberal sites on conservatives accelerated after the presidential election. Generally they attacks accuse us of having a conservative attitude (guilty), but where they go wrong is the accusation that we push fake news. As I have said many times they can disagree with the commentary on this site, but they can’t disagree with the facts. Like most of the liberal attacks, the site Tim Brown is defending himself from, makes the mistake of attacking his writing without actually reading it.
By Tim Brown
Do you think Cubans are fighting for healthcare or freedom from Communism?
As the Editor-In-Chief at FreedomOutpost.com, it came to my attention through an internet search that our site was coming up on MediaBiasFactCheck.com as “fake news.” I found it interesting that the site promotes itself as an “unbiased” filter and news reporting service. That is hardly the case, as I’ve stressed over and over, there is not “unbiased” reporting from anyone. However, the lack of actually doing their due diligence was demonstrated in site owner Dave Van Zandt’s pitiful excuse of a paragraph that tries to sound as though he knows what he was talking about when he linked to several articles and said the sources were bad or we promoted certain things rather than report the news. Let me demonstrate how wrong he was and then, I’ll show you who he is.
First, Mr. Van Zandt referred to FreedomOutpost.com as a “questionable source.” Here’s how he defines it:
A questionable source exhibits any of the following: extreme bias, overt propaganda, poor or no sourcing to credible information and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence. Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis.
Well, there is no doubt that the site is for profit. I don’t deny that, but the rest is purely an opinion not based in fact. After all, his own site is profiting from ads and fails to report truthfully about the sites it claims to review.
They cite trumpets, “We are the most comprehensive media bias resource on the internet. There are currently 1400+ media sources listed in our database and growing every day. Don’t be fooled by Fake News sources.”
I say, not so fast. Don’t be fooled by fake fact checkers.
In his brief review, Van Zandt wrote:
Freedom Outpost is an extreme right wing news website. The website publishes articles with sensational headlines that uses strong emotional loaded words to either favor conservatives or denigrate liberals. Freedom Outpost also uses questionable language when talking about African Americans. Further, Freedom Outpost has received a pants on fire claim by Politifact. This source also Promotes conspiracies such as Hillary Clinton being linked to Seth Rich’s murder and the Obama’s deep state. In both of these articles almost all sourcing is coming from other articles on the Freedom Outpost website and not from outside credible sources. Based on poor sourcing and a known failed fact check they are rated as an extreme right, questionable source.
Let’s take these one at a time, shall we? First, I get that this guy labels us as “extreme right wing,” but what is that definition really other than determining that we want the law to be upheld for both government and the people, right? That’s it. We oppose Communism, Socialism, Marxism and anything that is against the Biblical foundations the forged America. I make no apology for that and anyone who reads our news and commentary knows this.
As for language, yes, sometimes words are used that are strong, but consider his first example. “Freedom Outpost also uses questionable language when talking about African-Americans.”
The language used in the title of that piece was taken directly from… a Black Lives Matter activist, thug and criminal by the name of Tef Poe, a Black man. No, he’s not “African American.” He’s an American though his ideology is anti-American. His skin just happens to be dark. So, we simply quoted a black man in the title who said, “Dear white people if Trump wins young niggas such as myself are fully hell-bent on inciting riots everywhere we go. Just so you know.”
See how these “fact checkers” check their facts? Not too good.
Second, Van Zandt claims we received a “pants on fire” claim by Politifact. Like many who wrote to me, including registered nurses, I assume Mr. Van Zandt didn’t even bother to read the article, much like the guys at Politifact. Politifact contacted me via email and said they were checking the article, but the questions they raised didn’t have a thing to do with what the article actually put forth and I told them this.
Following the writing of the article, the author, Lorri Anderson, contacted Politifact no less than five times to straighten out certain misrepresentations they put forth. In the end, they were targeting a site that used our article without permission and attached a photo of Uncle Sam being beheaded for shock value.
While our report did include the fact, and it is a fact, that Obamacare did bring in medical codes for execution, as well as add tens of thousands of new codes, the report indicated that these codes were in existence for decades. Anyone who read the first few paragraphs would have understood that, but most chose to shoot first and be corrected later. Van Zandt and his site, along with Politifact are no different. Both of their pants are on fire on this one. I challenge people to read the article and see if Lorri was not thorough in what she put forward.
This alone should make anyone wary of MediaBiasFactCheck.com’s ability to actually review fairly site content, which is why it’s a shame that sites like Breitbart, Newsbusters and others have referenced them.
No, what we did was asked if the Russian Embassy was implying that Hillary Clinton was behind Rich’s murder. Any reasonable person can look at the picture used in this tweet and ask that question, can’t they?
If that is not what they are implying, then why is her face right there where the question is being asked? I don’t know if she was behind it or not, but I can connect the dots of Rich to Wikileaks and DNC emails and know who was exposed by those leaks. I know Clinton’s history and the path of dead bodies in the wake of her and her husband, whether they had them killed or not. People turn up dead around the Clintons. I think we should question what happened and who gained from it. Apparently, MediaBiasFactCheck.com and Mr. Van Zandt think things are just fine without asking questions, something journalists are supposed to do.
As far as the Obama Deep State comment goes, that has been reported throughout the mainstream media on both sides of the issue. No one can seriously argue it doesn’t exist. It’s merely entrenched bureaucracy and intelligence agencies. Van Zandt is either out to lunch, doesn’t care or is too lazy to deal with any of these things as he simply puts down some links without reading a word of what is in print, citing it and then refuting it.
Simply put, Van Zandt is a really bad researcher.
What’s interesting is that he writes, “In both of these articles almost all sourcing is coming from other articles on the Freedom Outpost website and not from outside credible sources. Based on poor sourcing and a known failed fact check they are rated as an extreme right, questionable source.”
Well, yes, of course, we link to our articles, which are almost always sourcing outside sources, documents, video or audio. We believe the content to be credible. That’s just something he forgot to tell anyone. I’m sure it was due to honest negligence, right? Hardly. It was due to laziness and a bias of his own.
Following my uncovering of MediaBiasFactCheck.com, I wrote and asked Mr. Van Zandt to clear the record honestly before I had to deal with him in print and possibly with legal action, which may be forthcoming. Instead of retracting or clearing things up, he had one of his volunteers, Michael Allen, write on a couple of recent articles.
In passing, Allen took a shot at a recent article about Twitter confirming the identity of the man who says he is Bill Clinton’s illegitimate son.
“And hit pieces about the possible son of Bill Clinton, which has been something floating around since the 90’s, the site freedomoutpost.com caters to a right leaning crowd with hit pieces and flashy titles.” he wrote.
Hit pieces and flashy titles? Seriously? There was nothing like that going on at all. Does Mr. Allen not know of the long line of women who have accused Clinton of not only adultery, but rape? Are they just providing hit pieces too, Mr. Allen? Just another flashy title for a tabloid article? That’s probably what he thinks.
However, he then went on to attack a recent brief article in a series on the Constitution, specifically The Bill of Rights. In that piece, the author simply affirmed, “So, the purpose of the Bill of Rights was to limit the Federal government, not the People.” That’s exactly what all of the Constitution does. It limits the government, not the people. Allen seems to have a hard time understanding “Congress shall make no law…” “…shall not be infringed,” “So, the purpose of the Bill of Rights was to limit the Federal government, not the People,” “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,” and so on. Those all recognize rights that come from God outside of the Constitution to the people and where government may not tread.
Still, Allen persists in attempting to say what the Constitution does not say by quoting Alexander Hamilton in Federalist #84.
“…it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication that a power prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government.”
However, he only quotes in part. The section he left out prior to the beginning of his citation reads:
I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power;
Allen calls our view a “simplistic view,” but seems to support “the creation of the FCC to regulate ‘media,’ Patriot Act & many different laws around the 2nd amendment from a federal and state level.”
Yes, there were those who felt it unnecessary to add a Bill of Rights. That is a simple statement of fact, but nevertheless, they are trampled upon even though they are written. Allen does nothing to refute the author’s claim that the Constitution is to limit the government, not the people. In fact, by quoting Hamilton, he is affirming the very claim of FreedomOutpost.com’s author which was the Constitution limits the government, not the people.
Then he took a shot at titles such as:
The first article is commentary, not a news article, as anyone reading it will see. There’s nothing ridiculous about the title except when ignorant people don’t actually read it and know what it is referencing. As for the second article, he admits Pelosi spoke about Bush when referencing President Trump “several times,” but he attributes that to being “forgetful.” The reality is that was not the first time she and other Democrats have done such at thing. These people are mentally ill for sure.
Finally, Allen says that we have contributions from the “extreme right biased” Constitution.com, which we do. So, what? he did say we used source videos from CNN and CSPAN. However, we used videos from all over, including Huffington Post, Mediaite, Fox News, New York Times and others.
One thing you won’t find when you go to MediaBiasFactCheck.com is them calling out CNN for blatantly fabricated stories and outright lies, something we have done and recently. The site simply chooses to label CNN as “Left Biased,” even though Amber Lyon, one of their own journalists, says the Clintons paid CNN for stories and paid to keep certain stories from coming out.
So, who is D. Van Zandt? According to his Facebook page, he’s a man who lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, who is originally from Lafayette, New Jersey. He’s the owner of VanZandt Webs and attended William Paterson University of New Jersey. He also is attributed as the developer of his website app, which also lists his home address in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he lives with his second wife, Filiz, whom he married after divorcing his first wife.
So, understand that this man is not biased at all. He has a political viewpoint and rather than dealing fairly, it seems he picked up the list from the loony professor that listed “fake news” sites to begin his new career.
Sadly, there are a plethora of sites pending review on his website, and most of them are considered “right-wing.” The disproportionate numbers of right wing sites to left-wing is enough to make anyone question what the bias is of MBFC. One wonders who is actually funding this outfit. After all, the site claims, “We are transparent about our funding sources. If we accept funding from other organizations, we ensure that funders have no influence over the conclusions we reach in our reports.” I haven’t seen any links to see funders, but would be happy to take a look.
Van Zandt claims, “Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law.”
Really? He thinks he can libel people and not be held liable. To make sure we didn’t miss the point, he adds, “Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable.”
Well, if one person passes on a lie from people who claim others are lying and they are telling the truth, is that not still libel? Indeed, it is. Van Zandt is only kidding himself here.
Finally, in a list of methodology, MBFC claims, “MBFC News recognizes that Politifact, Fact Check and Snopes do a fantastic job fact checking major claims. We feel our role is to check claims that perhaps have been bypassed. We will occasionally select our own fact-checks to research, but primarily rely on submissions from users of our website.”
That right there should tell you everything you need to know about where Van Zandt and his volunteers are coming from. They rely on people who distort the truth and have a liberal bent, such as Snopes, who hire dominatrixes and former porn stars and hookers to do their “fact checking.”
If MBFC did so poorly with FreedomOutpost.com, what do you think they have done with your favorite media outlet?