Fact-Checking the Fact Checkers

Boris Reitschuster is a popular German vlogger and journalist. The following article from his website discusses the tendentious efforts by a well-known and supposedly independent fact-checking organization.

Many thanks to Hellequin GB for the translation:

Correctiv shoots themselves in the leg during fact check

Truth-guards co-financed by the taxpayer embarrass themselves

These days, if you report critically, you will rapidly have the fact-checker on your back. In recent years the self-appointed truth keepers have sprung up like mushrooms around the world, often with opaque financing models.

The best-known “fact-checkers” in Germany are the “fact fox” of the Bavarian broadcasting company, the “fact finder” of the Tagesschau, the agitation portal Volksverpetzer, and the self-proclaimed research network Correctiv.

Correctiv refutes the quote on the basis of a wrong source

This is about Correctiv. There, on November 17, a fact check was published on an allegedly false quote from DIVI [Deutsche Interdisziplinäre Vereinigung für Intensiv- und Notfallmedizin] President Gernot Marx.

The quote reads: “We are currently registering a strong increase like last year. The big difference, however, is that we have 4,000 fewer intensive care beds available today than in 2020.” (Gernot Marx, President DIVI)

The content of the quote is therefore the significant reduction in beds in hospitals. Correctiv writes: “However, essential context is left out and the myth is fueled that intensive care beds were dismantled in Germany during the pandemic.”

So the dismantling of beds is just a myth? Regardless of the quote in question, this fact can be understood by everyone on the DIVI website.

A rather clumsy attempt to twist the facts.

Regarding the quote, Correctiv claims: “Context is missing: Gernot Marx’s complete statement does not indicate that beds have been dismantled.”

Corrective claims to have researched the quote. The alleged source mentioned is from an interview by the MDR on October 26, 2021, which was quoted in the Ärzteblatt on October 26, 2021.

Professor Marx, how do you assess the current situation in the intensive care units with regard to covid-19 patients?

Gernot Marx: Here at the Aachen University Clinic, the situation is still balanced, but the strain is increasing significantly across Germany. On Wednesday we had 2,136 intensive care patients with Covid-19; 52% of these had to be ventilated. Currently, 60-80 new patients are added nationwide every day In September the situation was stable for a long time with 1,400 Covid-19 patients; now we are registering a strong increase, as in the previous year. The big difference, however, is that we now have 4,000 fewer intensive care beds than in the previous year.

Source: Aachener Zeitung, 4. November 2021

However, the quote is correct and complete, as it was reproduced above, printed in the Aachener Zeitung of November 4, 2021. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the attentive reader who pointed out the incident.

Sloppy research?

The impression that Correctiv gives that the quote is “taken out of context” or misleading is absurd.

The “research network” obviously has difficulties exercising its own core competence — the correct research. What could be more natural than to contact the person involved directly to have the authenticity confirmed? With Correctiv you try to research online instead, but don’t do it thoroughly and end up with the wrong source.

Errors in research happen, no question about it. Especially if there is no editorial team behind the author to check everything again meticulously.

It becomes uncomfortable when such sloppy research happens on a subject that is relatively easy to validate.

However, with a “research network” that is so committed to troubleshooting and truthfulness, perhaps other standards can be applied. After all, they pride themselves on fighting fake news on the Internet. “Whether tax fraud, illegal party financing or targeted fake news — we want to make visible where power is abused,” says the website.

Correctiv hardly cares about the “power” or the “powerful”, which they also indirectly subsidize through taxpayers’ money. Instead, it constantly bombards those who criticize these powerful people who are helping to finance Correctiv.

Correctiv swims in money

In any case, the financial means to be able to carry out a thorough research would be available.

In total, Correctiv received donations of over €2.4 million in 2021 alone. Of this, around €885,000 allegedly from private supporters. Thanks to the non-profit status, they can in turn deduct their donations from taxes — which the taxpayer has to pay. The remaining money came from various foundations, companies and political institutions.

George Soros’ Open Societies Foundation (€70,240.54), the Omidyar Network Foundation by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar (€ 414,078.67), the Schöpflin Foundation (€ 250,000.00), but also Google (€ 150,000.00) and the State Chancellery des Landes NRW (€ 218,886.00) are among the supporters of various Correctiv projects this year.

The selfless service to the community is worthwhile. The Correctiv logo reads: “Research for society”. Who could doubt that with such highly respected donors?

However, it would certainly be welcome there if the incorrectly made factual allegations were a little less easy to refute, since otherwise the image of the highlighted devotion to the facts crumbles badly.

Although this image has never looked good for an organization that has dedicated itself to the fight against the abuse of power, but at the same time allows itself to be financed to a considerable extent by the “powerful”.

12 thoughts on “Fact-Checking the Fact Checkers

  1. The most prominent “fact checker” in the Czech Republic is http://www.manipulatori.cz

    It is headed by a self proclaimed “former” left wing extremist, who says that his being part of the extremist groups when he was young makes him qualify to be a good fact checker.

    He claims Kyle Rittenhouse is a white supremacist murderer, and was very upset with the US court decision. How dare you!

    • Babis and Jourova and rest Czech EU lovers establishment put Czech state on coliding and confrontational curse of action with Poland and Polish people..
      You Czech haven’t learn anything from Anschluss 1939.
      Why you like to have and make Enemy from Polish people..
      You must to feel validate and Worthy in German eyes now ..
      Czech menage to antagonize next generation of Polish people..
      You feel good about ? Why you doing this ?

      • Frankly, Mathoney – if you didn’t tell me I would not even know that we the Czechs are on colliding course with Poland? That is why your plain accusation sounds very much like Poland is being pitted against us, Czechs? Don’t fall for it man!

        But if you want some answers, Babis is just another Slovak born Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor in Böhmen und Mähren, and Jourova is just another “reframed” soulless empty vessel, programmed to speak on behalf of the Fourth Reich.

        1939 Anschluss was in Austria.

        • So there are normal Czechs..judging by your opinion..What region of Czech you are associated ?
          ps. I/m from Poland, Czechia, Slovakia Triangle..
          It’s been bad here after 2 World War..
          Something get to Slovaks fascists/commie heads..
          Czechs like always have had superiority feelings about us ..Poles become a Boogeyman for them helping them to heal their complex of inferiority..
          Living 32 years in US ,Canada i never accounted as a Pole such a hostility from Czech or Slovak people like here..
          Living across the border i just to walk for a beer to Czech bar..My fever is Radegost Gold..
          Now i can do it anymore..Open hostility toward me like in the worst communist time..becouse i dear to be Polack..
          But Czechs and Slovaks are the first one to come to Poland and take advantage on better quality products and much lower prices , gasoline included..
          Sometime it is frustrating for us and make our life difficult , because long line ups..
          Yesterday Polish government cancel all taxes on Food, medical stuff, electricity and gasoline..today in Ostrawa and Cieszyn region we had wating lines from Slovaks and Czech cars up to 2 hours..
          We understand from human perspective there is an envy for our economical and political sukces which we like to share good fortune with you ..Instead we receiving this bad attitude what makes me quit on my Radegost walks….
          Perhaps you as a Czech can give me some inside what is the source of that despise in Czechs toward us ?
          I really like to know , because whole think make us angry and resentment toward you Czechs and Slovaks is growing high by day..

          • I don’t know man, you come here, accuse me and my nation for creating hostility towards Poland. You top it up by claiming that we have a superiority feelings against you, to heal our superiority complexes.

            You say that we come to Poland to take advantage of you and your “lower prices”. Then you say that we “envy you”. And you finish it all by saying, that the resentment “of the Polish people” against us, Czechs, grow by the day?

            And after all that you want some explanation why are we, the Czechs, so evil against you?

            I have nothing to say except that it must be your own “projection”?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

            Because that is certainly what it looks like to me!

            What do you think? That the Czechs will rise up and conquer you, Poles, or what??? Don’t be ridiculous. We already have! Have you not heard that the World is ruled from the Bohemian Grove?

            Anyhow. Czechs are superior to everybody, and we are hostile towards everybody. American managers would end up in psychiatry wards, because their Czech workers would never smile! That is how we roll. If you want to see a typical Czech face – here it is:

            🙁

  2. “f****d” checking is an official distraction.

    It is designed to distract and waste time on semantics.

    Home in on the real targets – Scwab, Rothschild, Rockefeller, Soros.

    Identify their homes, addresses, phone numbers. Never let them move a centimetre without the world knowing and we will have them. That is true F****D,CHECK, AND MATE

  3. ..”They teach us to respect others but contempt for our own.
    They tell us to love everyone, even cannibals, yet to hate our fathers and brothers, because they hold opposing views and beliefs,
    Ignacy Jan Paderewski “..
    Beautiful laudation for Father of New Poland, Jan Paderewski, personal friend of President USA Woodrow Wilson, by Stefan Thompson ( our Polish Pride) and future President of Poland..
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1465194679788572678

  4. The V4 is overrated”, says prospective Czech EU ministerhttps://kafkadesk.org/2021/11/22/the-v4-is-overrated-says-prospective-czech-eu-minister/

  5. I have always felt that using the term “fact checker” reinforces the idea that they represent the facts, when when we speak out against them. I prefer to use the term “narrative checker”.

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