Nasheed Carter, Detroit Michigan
2020 was a year to remember, it forever memorialized definitions of fake news, conspiracy theories, and what constitutes an actual fact check. Most consumers of news, if asked would think journalists today actually do investigative reporting when gathering information used in their stories. Plus, we hope they used information from direct and primary sources. However, if you undertook an actual fact check of the fact checkers’ fact checking standards you might be surprised to really discover how little “fact checking” actually occurs. The number one use of fact checking seems to be as a political weapon.
As a little girl my momma would admonish me “Don’t you mince words young lady. Stick to the facts.” Many of us growing up heard those same words from our parents, elders, teachers and/or coaches several times over our lives. Each time we were attempting to do the same thing – “trying to explain away guilt by mincing the words”. When looking at the synonyms of “mincing words” one finds the literal meaning. Descriptive words such as hemming and hawing, hesitating, dancing around, equivocating, euphemizing, shilly-shallying, tapdancing, begging the question, and of course fudging and mudging. Not one of these descriptive words inspire conjure up images of truth or trustworthiness.
To mince is to chop into exceptionally fine or small pieces, and we have all been guilty of mincing up our words to try to find that one little nugget, word or point which we could “weaponize” against our adversaries at the time. The problem with mincing words these days is it has moved out of the realm of little kids making up stories or that one habitual liar in your life which everyone has, to become the new standard for what currently passes for news, journalism and fact checking. Let’s mince, or dissect this point, shall we?
FACT CHECKING TO DISTORT THE FACTS
A January 4, 2021, an article appearing in the Independent Sentinel gave this idea of a theme of “fact checking as a political weapon.” The headline grabbed me, as it should, but the facts showed me a clear picture of just how petty and mincing of words the business of fact checking has become. The headline was “Obnoxious AP fact checks Jovan Pulitzer’s gif” and the story went on to state, “Jovan Pulitzer, the inventor of the Q code, has become a player in the potentially fraudulent election in November. Using science and probabilities, he has brought up serious questions about the fraud in the election that do require answers. He and his team are now under attack, literally physically. On Sunday, he tweeted about an attack on the home of one of his team members in Atlanta. He tweeted, ‘One team member’s home took 5 shots through the windows in a drive-by. Right through his daughter’s bedroom window.’”
The tweet was accompanied by a stock footage visual to make the tweet get attention. The visual Pulitzer used consisted of 4 elements, an American flag as the background, an American Eagle in the foreground and a stock footage transparent overly of bullets being shot through a window with two sound effects of shots and glass breaking. (see photo)
Why was the “fact check” by the Associated Press regarding using the stock footage for the tweet, not the actual shooting incident?
MINCING WORDS TO TWIST THE PLOT
After Pulitzer’s tweet appeared the Associated Press went to “fact checking” the story and wanting to know “why was stock footage used?” Anyone reading this can tell the implication was that the information tweeted was in fact fabricated. (see photo)
This story of fact checking gone wrong would have never come to my attention if I had not seen Pulitzer’s response to the Associated Press posted. In his response he makes a very valid point – cutting point – of how fact checking may be weaponizing the news these days.
Good afternoon AP.
The post in question is as occurred. I am looping in my Attorney ……. you might have direct contact and get your inquiries met and assure your fact-checking is also factually correct. As you most assuredly know one must be very, very careful in revealing the parties once again publicly which would only call for additional attacks.
As for the Twitter post, ALL NEWS SOURCES including yours (I know this directly since your past Chairman served on one of my corporation's Boards https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burl_Osborne and was one of my very closest mentors) that usually when a crime occurs there is not a camera person or team present. When that occurs, all media outlets turn to stock footage to report on the story and provide visuals for people to understand (this is common practice). In order to tell this story visually, such licensed clips are used. Please be advised that nowhere in the information, video or release did it state this was footage of the actual crime. Logic would dictate that IF one knew of a crime about to occur (the only way you could have real-time footage) that one would not be there to document such but instead alert the police and attempt to stop such crime from being committed. As to your fact-checking to report this as "not accurate" based on stock footage used, that would make all of the news not accurate for using the same stock footage for such stories. Such a label placed on this story would then require you placing such labels on all news media, would it not?
Conversely, IF the report was (which it was not) “this is the footage as the crime was happening" and stock footage was being used, then it would surely be factually incorrect. But alas, this is not the case, you know it and I now have further documented such to you and thus for AP to report it of such would be patently false on your part. Since I am in no obligation to share with you the family, location name, and those traumatized by these acts, I would suggest you dialog directly with my attorney and see if such information as you are requesting be released and if you (the Associated Press) would then bear any responsibly for assuring safe protection of the family at the center of this matter. I am sure the AP has the financial resources to place additional protection around the family if and when you release who they are and where they live.
An AP News Editor in AP News Verification did get back with Pulitzer and stated, “if they needed further information, they would contact Pulitzer’s lawyer.” The point of writing about this is exactly what the Independent Sentinel wrote in their story as well, “The far-left Associated Press news service jumped on it and claimed he failed the fact check over the gif-like clip. They totally ignored the attack on his team member with a bullet through a girl’s bedroom window except to suggest he made it up.” There was no other reason to fact check this message of “The Bias and Hate Must Stop” other than Pulitzer had become a viral sensation as a result of his presentation on Georgia’s election integrity the week before and his tweet gained almost 1 million views. What about this tweet deserved the Associated Press’s fact checking attention to begin with?
FACT OR HACK?
Naturally, the AP’s attention to Pulitzer made me take a closer look and conduct some fact checking of the fact checkers so-called fact checking. Here is how the real story unfolded as a matter-of-real-verified-facts (novel, idea I know).
Pulitzer’s testimony contained easy to comprehend visual presentations of issues with the Georgia 2020 general election. This testimony went viral on the internet. Tens of thousands of people around the world were sharing his firebrand testimony and hailing him as a true American hero for standing up to the politicians and demanding they be held accountable for election integrity. THE FACT IS, Pulitzer factually, with evidence documents, showed how some of the Fulton County Georgia ballots were printed out of machine compliance and such printing error could contribute to vote scanning and tally errors (which tests have since proven true).
Pulitzer’s viral testimony triggered a vitriolic series of press conferences and one article from the Secretary of State of Georgia himself. The article the Georgia SoS released then trigged a wave of “fact checking as political weapons” deployed against Pulitzer. Ironically, the Georgia SoS titled his press release as “FACT CHECK: Georgia Senate Masquerades Failed Treasure Hunters as Hacker and Election Security Expert”. Here are their posted so-called-facts about Pulitzer after his testimony:
“Yesterday, during a Georgia State Senate hearing, failed treasure hunter, J. Hutton Pulitzer…”
FACT CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS: Pulitzer has been the long time Commander of the one of the world’s foremost terrestrial treasure exploration teams. They have been called on by governments and even TV Networks to manage and execute expeditions. This information is widely known. Several major TV networks such as the History Channel and the Science Channel have used and features Pulitzer as one of the world’s foremost professional treasure hunters and professional expedition Commanders.
“failed treasure hunter” and “unsuccessfully for the Ark of the Covenant”
FACT CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS: Records show Pulitzer is wildly successful at his passion for searching for and recovering lost history, but the Ark of the Covenant so-called-fact stumped us. To get to the truth I reached out to Pulitzer and various Producers from the TV Networks. I discovered the only item linking Pulitzer to the Ark of the Covenant is an “edited promotional spot” for the TV series, where Pulitzer mentioned the Ark of the Covenant from a historical perspective. The network had edited his words and used it as an opened ended TV promo to increase viewers. Nielsen TV ratings show Pulitzer came to the TV series Curse of Oak Island it has just broken about 1m viewers and after his Season 2 engagement the series exceeded 3 million viewers. Furthermore, Pulitzer confirmed he “has never looked for the Ark of the Covenant”. Not sure a TV showing using the words Ark of the Covenant and that show not finding the Ark of the Covenant (or even looking for it) classifies Pulitzer as being failed.
Facts then morphed into Pulitzer is a failed inventor and his invention of CueCat did not sell and flopped, however when one really does a fact check of the fact checkers, we found those claims to be exactly the opposite of the real truth of the matter.
FACT CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS: Pulitzer’s product was not a device, but a service driven by a unique piece of code called CRQ which stood for “See Our Cue” or “Cue Code.” CRQ one of the first browser add-ons at the time hit over a million users in under 30 days. At that time, a million users of anything on the web was unheard of and only dreamed about by young tech CEO’s and their companies.
FACT CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS: Pulitzer’s tech company during this time (1998-2001) was one of the very first technology Unicorn’s and at the time was one of the few who reached such a high market cap valuation while still being a private company not a publicly traded stock. Digital:Convergence was one of the most successful non-venture capital deals of its time, comprised of 100% of strategic investors and not venture capital money.
FACT CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS: Unlike urban legends continue to repeat, CueCat was never sold as a product. CueCat was a totally free device which people lined up by the thousands outside their local Radio Shack waiting for the doors to open so they could pick one up – for free. The lines were so long for people waiting for the store to open that the lines themselves because news stories of the day. CueCat became the fastest adopted computer peripheral of all time (still stands) with almost 3 million installs in its initial 45 days on the market.
FACT CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS: Pulitzer’s company was caught up like many in the dot com bust, since he was a Wall Street darling with his company and technology Pulitzer was written about frequently. The demise of the company was the market crash which ended Digital’s IPO. After the company bankruptcy, Pulitzer and his investors bought back his patents then nurtured them to where they went on to become one of the most lucrative patent portfolios of the internet age. Pulitzer’s patents are on virtually every mobile device in the world, and he continues to invent plus pioneer technology advances to this day.
When dissecting the words used by Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the media outlets who, without fact checking amplified Raffensperger has “issued a scathing rebuke of testimony offered by J. Hutton Pulitzer during a Senate election hearing. Raffensperger called the hearing ‘disinformation filled’ and referred to Pulitzer as a ‘failed inventor and failed treasure hunter’ masquerading as a ‘hacker and election security expert" one quickly realizes the goal of the so-called fact checking of Pulitzer was to promote a narrative of “Pulitzer as a failure” and not what the real facts actually were. The medias and Georgia’s Secretary of State Raffensperger’s deflection was to paint Pulitzer as a failure in order to keep public attention away from the truth of the point Pulitzer actually made as a technologist - “there are hard rules when papers and codes interact with machines and those rules were broken and can cause machine to malfunction.” When exposed Georgia election officials realized Pulitzer might just blow open the doors to the secret vaults obfuscating how voting machines worked, they immediately went on the attack of Pulitzer’s abilities and character.
THOSE WHO DON’T MATTER, DON’T MATTER
The truth of the business world and media world is those who don’t matter, don’t matter. High level elected officials, State or Federal (and the same with the media outlets) do not produce stories about individuals or topics which do not matter to society. It is literally the opposite. When an individual does matter to society they get written about, talked about and most of the time attacked for sport. Especially if they are one of the transparent truth tellers in society. This is the case of Pulitzer. Secretary of State Raffensperger became so alarmed by Pulitzer’s report to the Senate because his presentation and testimony was so clear, concise, and transparent. It sharply contrasted the political powers whose integrity was coming under question. Those powers needed to deflect the attention off them and do all the harm they could to Pulitzer’s credibility. When was the last time you ever heard of a State issuing a press release like they did on government servers, to deflect the testimony of a single independent researcher looking into what happened in the general election of 2020? Probably never. Goes to show just how powerful Pulitzer’s technology know-how is and just how afraid the system is of this lone wolf who knows a thing or two about technology. Pulitzer gets written about, talked about, and attacked specifically because he does matter. American voters know Pulitzer is right over the target.
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACT NOT CHECKED
These few examples make it clear, yet you may say, as other press outlets and blogs did, that “Pulitzer has no experience in auditing elections.” True, you would be right at the very same time neglecting the real facts.
Let me offer you one final FACT CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS: No one and certainly Pulitzer, did not present himself as an election auditor or election expert. What qualifies Pulitzer to investigate, pontificate and illustrate matters related to this topic, is the simple fact that Pulitzer, as an independent inventor, has the most patents (over 200 and in 189 countries around the world) which specifically deal with how machine readable codes (those bar codes, QR codes, hashmarks and calibration marks) when printed on paper (such as ballots) interact with machines (such as voting machines) and then must be resolved, tallied, extrapolated, transmitted and accounted for (such as counting your votes and understanding who you voted for and what was the overall result was).
Pulitzer is the one human on the planet who has over 25 years direct technical experience understanding this general election and voting machine mess as a whole. Pulitzer even has another simple professional reason why he is the go-to individual for understanding what happened when it comes to the 2020 general election in the United States. It pops out at you when you look at Dominion Voting Systems and its portfolio of patents. Dominion reports 12 granted patents dating back as early as November 2012, yet when you look at Pulitzer’s scan commerce, scan connect, and scan detect patent portfolio you find his start 14 years and 2 months before a single Dominion patent was even filed. Even though I must acknowledge that Dominion gained 12 patents over the last 11 years, it must be pointed out that Pulitzer seems to of have developed and filed that many individual patents in the first 45 days of this year alone. This is why facts matter and facts should be checked into. There is nothing supporting Pulitzer is a failure or the media’s or Raffensperger’s fact checking facts are the actual truth. They are not. Their fact checking is noting more than utilizing fact checks as the new political weapon.
This trend of fact checking stories is alarming for many reasons. When fact checking the fact checkers you find the fact checker did not bother to check the facts at all. The so-called fact checkers just regurgitated political talking points and used their fact check as a political weapon to damage the public opinion of the very people the public should be paying attention to. Those who speak the truth with facts, not the politicians or media outlets with a political axe to grind, should be those the least shut down and suppressed in the media. This is not the case. Call it exactly the opposite of what it is really is, sadly seems to be the political norm.
What I learned in this fact checking the fact checkers exercise is “if the politicians and mainstream media say something is a conspiracy or call someone a fraud or failure, then pay attention because the media is inadvertently pointing you to exactly what and who you should be paying attention to” and that’s a fact!