About Echo Check Fact Checks
Overview: The primary mission of EchoCheck.org is to provide independent fact checks on stories whose intent appears to be to mislead or deceive in order to move people away from the Judeo-Christian principles and morals the United States of America was founded on.
Context and Motivation
We are long past the days when a news anchor was regarded as “The most trusted man on TV.” Walter Cronkite was voted that title and reigned as the CBS news anchor from 1962 – 1981. Back in those early days of network news reporting there was still an emphasis on presenting the news in a factual way, minimizing bias, slants and propaganda. News organizations prized being considered objective and were not regarded as an extension of one political party or the other. Those days are long gone. Trust of the news media in these latter days has sunk to an all time low. Whether or not you trust the news you get is now largely dependent on one key factor: Whether the source you’re watching has the same ideological beliefs that you do. So say various polls (see here and here for example).
Most news now comes in two flavors: red or blue (not red, white and blue). The bulk of it is from the “main stream media” (MSM) The main stream media generally come in two flavors: those leaning left and those leaning hard left. (Variously described as left or liberal – though the two are not synonymous. See here on Left vs Liberal for the distinction.) There are also a few right leaning sources typically described as conservative. Leftists don’t trust much (perhaps anything) put out by conservative media. Conservatives don’t believe practically anything put out by left leaning media sources. How then does one discern the truth?
Enter the fact checkers. The fact checkers were (and are) supposed to be unbiased, neutral researchers checking claims put out by news reporters and news makers in an objective way. They were supposed to level the field so that news consumers could determine who’s telling the truth, who’s stretching the truth, and who’s flat out lying. But as the ideological divide in the United States has grown increasingly wide and deep, many are (and have been) charging that the fact checkers themselves are biased as well. (See one of these: mrc, poynter, investors, cnbc.)
Many commentators have noted that the 2020 election will be a turning point for America. It will decide whether America continues to hold values she’s held since her founding. Values that include truth, American exceptionalism, freedom of speech and of religion, economy opportunity for all – but with no guaranteed outcomes. Or whether she will turn and follow the many failed Socialist countries, where truth is not valued, and elites push polices that lead to forced speech, restricted religion, shortages, guaranteed outcomes that limit all to the lowest common denominator with no chance of improvement, and even the elimination of dissidents and political enemies.
Much is at stake – both for this election and beyond. How to determine who’s telling the truth and who’s turning lies into political propaganda? Thus our mission here is to :
1. Debunk the most egregious lies used to manipulate.
2. Promote the truth, especially truths this country was founded on
3. The focus of EchoCheck.org is not on being the first to break news; but rather to make visible what left leaning news sources would rather you not know. And to remind those who either never knew, or may have forgotten (or are to young to remember) what is already known to be true.
4. To do so not with “anonymous sources”, but with cited sources, preferably using their own words, referred to as “echoes”.
5. Put information in context so it’s easily understood, and easily referenced.
It’s been pointed out that “truth is not a left wing value.” Since the left values the narrative and the results more than it values the truth, this site will likely be of little interest to them. But for those for whom truth matters, and what’s right matters, and what’s moral matters, this site should prove helpful.
Question: Why should this site be trusted over any of the other sites?
Answer: We believe the following will provide value for those seeking the truth:
1. We value Truth
We hold to a Judeo-Christian world view. Thus truth and honesty is intrinsic to all we report. We will not take the approach that “the ends justifies the means.”
2. Our bias is up front
The motto for one news source begins, “Unbiased news does not exist.” On that we can agree. Since that is the case why not take the next step and identify your bias? Our high regard for truth should make it clear where we stand. We value truth, but truth is not a left wing value. Thus clearly this is not a left leaning site. Our bias and allegiance is to the truth. That includes moral truth. (One cannot make a judgment on moral truths if one cannot determine what’s moral. If morality is rejected, then truth doesn’t matter anyway – for truth is only helpful to moral people.) Thus if your news source or fact checker is unwilling to affirm moral truth, what makes you think they that:
a. They will be able to identify the truth and
b. If they can identify it, but have no commitment to report it accurately, how do you know they will report truth, and report it accurately, and not the preferred narrative of their bias?
3. Transparency in sourcing
We will not report “anonymous” sources. We will use one of the following:
a. Direct quotes (videos or “echoes” where possible) of actual statements from the person in question
You can decide for yourself if you agree with our assessment of whether what was actually said supports what is claimed about what was said.
b. Links to online sources when possible
c. Identification of written or other sources.
4. Corrections and Updates
Updates and corrections (if needed) will be placed in the body of the story with the date the correction or update was made. No burying them so as never to be seen.
Following is our evaluation method followed by a sample
1. Identify the question for consideration
2. Background or context
3. Answer whether the statement is true or false
4. Identify the degree of certainty of the true/false assessment
Certain: 100% certain. There is no doubt about the assessment.
Very High: Less than 100% certain. While nearly certain, there are factors that preclude us from indicating a 100% certainty.
High: Evidence indicates the claim is true, but due to the nature of the evidence, we cannot claim either certainty, or near certainty. However this still indicates a high level of confidence that the assessment as indicated is correct.
5. State the reason for the assessment
6. Provide the source the assessment was based on, either as an echo or a reference
7. Concluding Comments (If appropriate): The goal is to to keep comments short so you can spend more time reviewing actual statements.
1/3/21: Minor corrections
1/30/21: Replace broken video links
Sample Fact Check:
Did Obama White House press secretary Josh Ernest lie about the ethics of Planned Parenthood?
The following statement regarding Planned Parenthood ethics were made in light of an undercover video showing Planned Parent discussing with a prospective buyer the price of various body parts from a dead, aborted baby. Speaking of Planned Parenthood Ernest states:
“They have made very clear that they subscribe to the highest – they subscribe and implement the highest ethical standards when … – in carrying out their operations.”
Obama White House Press Secretary
True or False: True – Ernst lied about Planned Parenthood having high ethics
Degree of Certainty: Very High
Reason: Killing babies is unethical and immoral. Abortion is the term they use for killing babies. You cannot perform an unethical, immoral act that results in murder and claim to be acting with “the highest ethical standards.”
Note: This is a lie not because Bill O’Reilly proclaims it to be one. It’s a lie because it’s contrary to the truth. Bill O’Reilly is merely highlighting that truth.
Comments: Josh Ernest is clearly lying with this statement, likely (as the white house press secretary) under the direction of the pro-abortion Obama White House to support their good buddies at Planned Parenthood.
Echoes and references:
Echo of the Josh Ernest Statement:
Reference: The O’Reilly Factor, air date 7/22/2015
Bill O’Reilly comments on Josh Ernest lie about Planned Parenthood ethics
Echo of the original Center for Medical Progress undercover Video:
Reference: The O’Reilly Factor, air date 7/22/2015
O’Reilly shows the video from The Center for American Progress pricing baby parts