Monday on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” network political analyst Brit Hume pressed The Dispatch editor and CEO Stephen Hayes for failing to fact-check the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Hayes touted his outlet’s fact-checking as part of Facebook’s “robust fact-checking program,” to which Hume asked what The Dispatch’s fact-checkers had to say about the younger Biden story that was suppressed by both Facebook and Twitter.
According to Hayes, The Dispatch didn’t fact-check the Biden story partly “because there wasn’t enough information in those early days.”
“The problem Facebook faces right now is both what they were doing … but also what they were saying they were doing,” Hayes outlined. “And if you look back at what Facebook was making public, they were telling a certain story about Facebook as a good place, or Facebook and Instagram as a good place for young people. This was a place for people to get together. And then you have these documents showing that internally they had come to a different understanding.”
The Fox News contributor continued, “I think the same is true on misinformation and hate. Facebook has a robust fact-checking program. The Dispatch is part of that fact-checking program. We think we are doing good as a part of that fact-checking program. But if it is the case that Facebook is preferring or tweaking an algorithm to allow hateful content and misinformation content to go viral at the same time, well, it’s going to overwhelm the efforts of people who are trying to do a good job to correct that.”
Host Brett Baier later asked, “Steve, you mentioned The Dispatch is a part of it. What does that mean?”
“Yeah, we do fact-check on a wide variety of articles that surface through a tool that Facebook provides,” Hayes replied. “We do fact-checking independent of Facebook as well. But we are trying, you know, to be a voice that’s helping to determine what is true and what’s not true, and we think we play a pretty important role there.”
“Steve, what did you all do — what did your fact-checkers at The Dispatch have to say about the Hunter Biden story?” Hume asked.
“Yeah, we didn’t do a straight-up fact-check on the Hunter Biden story in part because there wasn’t enough information in those early days to do a definitive fact check,” Hayes explained. “That’s part of the role of fact-checkers — determining what’s factual so that you are correcting facts rather than trying to correct opinion.”
Baier responded, “Well, I respect The Dispatch, but will there be fact-checkers of the fact-checkers? Do you know what I’m saying?”
“There always are fact-checkers of the fact-checkers. We welcome that. We want people to fact-check our work. It’s good for us,” Hayes concluded.
Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent