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Noah Y. Kim
By Noah Y. Kim May 6, 2021

Washington Post is still fact-checking Joe Biden

If Your Time is short

• The Washington Post announced on April 26 that it will no longer update a database of Biden fact-checks searchable by date, source and topic. However, it will continue to fact-check the President.

• Since the announcement, the Post has fact-checked Biden. ​

On April 28, political commentator Brandon Tatum posted an image to Facebook claiming that the Washington Post would no longer fact-check President Joe Biden.

"Washington Post ends fact-checking for Biden for the remainder of his presidency," it reads. 

But Biden isn’t getting a free pass from the Post’s "Pinocchios." Just three hours after Tatum posted the image, the Washington Post published a fact-check of Biden’s 100-day speech that dinged him for a variety of false or misleading claims. 

The Facebook post is wrong and was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Here’s what really happened:

During the Trump administration, the Washington Post’s Fact Checker maintained a database, or list of fact checks searchable by topic, source and date. 

The Post maintained a similar database for Biden’s first 100 days. But on April 26, Glenn Kessler, editor and chief reporter for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, announced on Twitter that he and his team would no longer maintain a database of Biden fact-checks because of the labor it required to do so. 

In the announcement, Kessler explicitly wrote that he and his team would continue to fact-check Biden. "We have fact-checked Biden rigorously and will continue to do so," he wrote. 

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Nevertheless, some people misinterpreted the announcement, writing that the Post would no longer fact-check Biden and citing it as evidence of media bias. 

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., tweeted, "Imagine having the slogan ‘Democracy dies in darkness’ but then shutting down your ‘fact-checking’ division because the President is a Democrat." ("Democracy dies in darkness" is the official slogan of the paper.)

Shani George, vice president of communications for the Washington Post, forwarded us a statement that echoed Kessler’s Twitter thread.

"We took on the task of maintaining a database during the previous presidency in response to unique circumstances," she wrote. "That database started as a 100-day project, and we created a companion project for the current president so a comparison could be made. We are continuing our practice of rigorous, routine fact-checking, which has already identified dozens of false and misleading statements by Biden, and will continue to hold the president accountable for his words."

Our ruling

"Washington Post ends fact-checking for Biden for the remainder of his presidency," reads a Facebook post. 

The Washington Post announced that it will no longer update a database of Biden fact-checks but that it will continue to fact-check Biden.

Since the announcement, the Washington Post has fact-checked Biden. 

We rate this post False. ​

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Washington Post is still fact-checking Joe Biden

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