NYT Assigns 29 Fact-Checkers To Trump-Biden Debate, Clear Focus On Trump

The New York Times has committed over 60 journalists, including an astonishing 29 fact-checkers, to cover the upcoming debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on Thursday night. This significant allocation of resources has drawn attention, particularly for its apparent focus on scrutinizing Trump.

The opening paragraph of the Times’ article about their coverage made it clear that their primary target is Trump. It read, “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 introduction, conspicuously omitting any mention of Biden, underscores their intent.

Critics argue that the Times’ characterization of Trump’s trial is biased. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump for business fraud has been controversial, with accusations of judicial bias from commentators across the political spectrum. Despite this, the Times seems determined to focus on Trump’s legal troubles.

The Times plans to livestream the debate and provide extensive coverage with context, insight, photos, reactions, and fact-checking. However, the role and credibility of fact-checkers have come under scrutiny. For instance, last week, Snopes admitted that the widely circulated claim that Trump called neo-Nazis “very fine people” was false. This admission came seven years after the narrative was first debunked, raising questions about the reliability of such fact-checking entities.

Past missteps by fact-checkers like Snopes and PolitiFact have further fueled skepticism. PolitiFact, for example, once fact-checked a satirical article from the Babylon Bee, missing the satire entirely.

As Trump prepares for the debate, he faces not only Biden but also a media landscape perceived as biased. Observers anticipate that the Times and other outlets will continue their rigorous scrutiny of Trump, potentially shaping public perception with their coverage.

 

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