Facebook is censoring stories about Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg’s commute to work last week, using a “fact check” from a group called Lead Stories. The “fact check,” however, offers no proof to dispute the premise of the story it claims is false: that Buttigieg was caught on video unloading his bike from an SUV to shorten his commute to the White House.
The video that was taken last week, then reported on by a number of outlets, shows Buttigieg’s team of Secret Service agents and their SUVs unloading the former college town mayor’s bike for him, then trailing behind him for the rest of his journey to the White House.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg biked to the White House for today's Cabinet Meeting, it would appear. pic.twitter.com/XfYRB3COqm
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) April 1, 2021
“The transportation secretary biked both to and from a Cabinet meeting at the White House, according to a spokesperson at the Department of Transportation (DOT),” the Lead Stories “fact check” reads.
Of course he biked to and from the cabinet meeting. No stories dispute this fact, because the whole point of Buttigieg’s stunt was to be seen riding to and from the White House on his bike. A thorough fact check of the video would have pressed DOT or the reporter who took the video on the exact location Buttigieg was seen mounting his bike and why.
Instead, the DOT didn’t even attempt to deny that SUVs drove Buttigieg’s bike for him to a location presumably closer to the White House house than his starting destination. But thankfully for the Mayor Pete donors at Facebook, that did not stop fact-checker Dana Ford from digging.
What proof did she find to confirm, as the headline states, that “Pete Buttigieg Did NOT Stage A Short Bike Ride For a Photo Op”?
“Buttigieg, himself, shared Judd’s tweet, along with his own message: ‘Great way to get around!'” writes Ford. “If the video showed what the post claims it did — namely, that Buttigieg staged a fake ride for the press — it seems unlikely that he would have chosen to share it as that might increase scrutiny.” So now an attempt to read Buttigieg’s mind is substituting for evidence like video footage.
According to Ford’s logic, a jovial quote tweet from Buttigieg affirms that it all checks out. Nothing to see here.
The entire rationale for this ludicrous "fact check" from Facebook funded fraudsite @LeadStoriesCom is "it seems unlikely that [Buttigieg] would have chosen to share it as that might increase scrutiny." https://t.co/mdQp0Bb6i3
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) April 5, 2021