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News

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel: Fact-Checkers are Part of a Government Conspiracy

Another day, another bozo eruption from Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives

August 16, 2018

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel has a problem with fact-checking – namely, she thinks fact-checking is used as a “spin tool” against Conservatives.

In the latest bozo eruption from Andrew Scheer’s Conservative caucus this week, the federal immigration critic accused the Canadian Press’ “Baloney Meter” feature of being controlled by “Trudeau’s top henchman” in the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Canadian Press, a private news agency whose news wire stories are often republished by newspapers and local news outlets around the country, runs a regular fact-checking feature called the Baloney Meter that “examines the level of accuracy in statements made by politicians.”

The feature scrutinizes claims and ascribes them a score ranging from “no baloney” to “full of baloney” – meaning “the statement is completely inaccurate.”

But in a series of tweets Thursday morning, Rempel claimed “the Baloney Meter is a spin tool for the Trudeau PMO” and denounced the fact-checking feature as “editorialization disguised as journalism.”

Without providing any evidence, Rempel even claimed the PMO will “deploy totally unbiased people” to “spin what Canadians know is fact” whenever it gets in trouble.

Rempel appeared to be reacting to a fact-check published Thursday scrutinizing Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s recent comments claiming “illegal border crossers” have become a “crisis.”

The fact-check quotes Scheer directly, provides readers with several hundred words of background context and cites a number of experts, including a representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the director of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University and the director of Immigration and Settlement Studies at Ryerson University.

The fact-check notes the experts “all agree there is no foundation for calling the influx of irregular border crossers a crisis”:

“Given the facts and the views of the experts, while there’s little doubt the situation poses a political and policy challenge for both Ottawa and the affected provinces, Scheer’s contention of a ‘crisis’ rates a ranking of ‘full of baloney’.”

Rempel would go on to denounce the Baloney Meter as not being real “journalism” because it failed to provide the Conservatives with an opportunity to offer their counter-spin on the analyses of three credible experts – something that defeats the purpose of fact-checking, which is to determine if a claim is accurate.

Journalists, on the other hand, pointed out Rempel’s anti-fact-checking rant had quite a few factual errors of its own:

 

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Doug Ford Passes ‘Vindictive’ Gerrymandering Law Aimed at Rigging Toronto’s 2018 Municipal Election

Even Doug Ford’s closest allies say the Premier of Ontario is redrawing boundaries to settle old scores with his political rivals

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