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Peter Schweizer: Facebook Fact-Checking Initiative Run by Progressive Activists

On Friday’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow, Clinton Cash author and Breitbart News Senior Editor Peter Schweizer said Facebook’s decision to regulate “fake news” is a “huge problem.”

“Here’s the thing: I’ve had my experience with the ‘fact-checkers,’ and oftentimes what they are doing is not so much checking facts and confirming, you know, ‘Were 20,000 widgets sold by this company last year?’. What they’re doing is, they’re re-framing stories and trying to put them into a context. So they would not confirm challenge the fact that 20,000 widgets were produced by a factory. But they would say, ‘Well, this is what that really means, according to our interpretation.’ That’s not fact-checking, that’s framing, and that’s trying to contextualize in a way that advances an agenda,” Scnweizer said.

“And as you said, when you look at these fact-check organizations, the politics is really outrageous,” he continued. “I looked yesterday, just a little bit, at Snopes, which started out as a website that basically would look at urban legends like ‘Does Bigfoot exist?’ and try to determine whether that was true or not. But what they’ve done is, they’ve migrated into politics.”

“And when you look at the roster of people – you know, Bethania Palma, Kim LaCapria, Dan Evon to name just some of them that are in this area, or Arturo Garcia – these are all self-described ‘progressives.’ I’m not saying that’s what they are, they describe themselves as progressives, and they write for websites in addition to Snopes like Alternet. One of them, for example, wrote an article saying conservatives have low IQs and are racists,” he said.

“These are the people that are going to be doing the fact-checking. It’s outrageous, and I think people need to raise a stink about it, because Facebook is concerned about its brand, and I think if enough people raise a stink about it, they’re going to either reconsider or try to figure out a different way to do it that’s far less threatening to free speech,” Schweizer urged.

After Marlow listed some other dubious “fact-check” contributors to Facebook’s initiative – including ABC News, which hired Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos as a journalist – Schweizer called the situation a “classic example of where the marketplace should decide.”

“People are intelligent. People are smart. This audience, a lot of other people in the country, people that actually decide that they are going to pay attention to the news, and that they are going to vote and be involved in the civics of their country, they’re smart and sophisticated enough,” he argued. “They don’t need a group of self-appointed guardians to tell them what information should matter to them, and what information should not.”

“This to me is a question of the Left trying to hold on to power. They have dominated the media for so long in this country, and it’s slipped away. Large media companies are seeing either declining ratings in television, or they’re seeing declining circulation in their newspapers. They’re seeing that a lot of things that they would claim before in their coverage – whether it’s on race in America or politics in America – it’s being challenged independent media like Breitbart, like other news outlets, and they don’t like it,” he said.

“But rather than compete and win, try to win in a marketplace of ideas and a marketplace of information, they go the route of regulation. We can’t compete, so we’re going to get now the largest platforms for news, we’re going to get them to stop or control certain people from what they’re saying. It’s a classic example to me of the weakness of the Left. It’s the same reason, Alex, why do they need speech codes on college campuses? Is it because their ideas are so attractive and so dominant, and nobody is attracted to anything else? No, it’s the opposite. It’s because they can’t get people, compel people, to be attracted to their ideas, that they have to try to shut off other people communicating different ideas,” Schweizer charged.

He applauded Marlow’s point that in socialism-blighted regions like South America, the public has never been exposed to competing conservative ideas, so they accept perpetual left-wing domination no matter how badly it crashes and burns. Schweizer added that a similar monopoly of ideas is being reconstructed in the United States, after years of Internet and talk-radio threats to the liberal domination of communication and education.

“This is what Facebook is saying to people, that we – Breitbart, conservative media – are so smart, and people are so stupid, people on Facebook are so stupid and moronic, that they are incapable of making their own decisions on media. And if it’s a competition between Breitbart and CBS News and the Washington Post, people are going to gravitate towards Breitbart, and that’s only because the people are so stupid, and Breitbart is so slick,” Schweizer said.

“That is the premise behind everything that they are doing here, and I think we need to call them out on it,” he advised. “This is a huge insult to people on Facebook. It’s a great pat on the back to us, but frankly I think you would say, Alex, and I do, you have to fight every day in the marketplace of ideas. There is no natural assumption that people are going to gravitate immediately to what we write.”

“It’s a sign that the ideas, and the facts, and the stories that we are presenting are what the people want, and what they want to be exposed to – and that they had been tested. Nobody wants to succumb to false news, and be stupid, and share something that is wrong. And so the entire premise of this, frankly, is a massive middle finger to the average Facebook reader, to say ‘you’re too stupid to do this by yourself, we’re going to do it for you,'” he said.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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