Daily Source Bias Check: 21st Century Wire




Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information, therefore fact checking and further investigation is recommended on a per article basis when obtaining information from these sources. See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources.

Factual Reporting: MIXED

Notes: 21st Century Wire is an alternative news website that rejects the consensus of science regarding climate change and also promotes the conspiracy that mainstream media is publishing fake news. This source has also received an unproven claim by Snopes, which 21st Century Wire considers a questionable source. The website Fort Liberty has placed 21st Century Wire on it’s Fake News/Hoax list. I disagree with Fort Liberty that 21st Century is a publisher of fake news. 21st Century employs somewhat sensational headlines and does provide sourcing to attempt to support claims. The primary issue is that 21st Century publishes some questionable stories (see examples above) that are embedded among  legitimate stories they publish. This can mislead the reader. (D. Van Zandt 7/20/2016)

Notes# 2: 21st Century Wire is conspiracy and fake news with an extreme right bias. Additionally, their headlines are sensationalist and largely misleading.

21st Century Wire is a conspiracy and conjecture site run by Patrick Henningsen. Henningsen has ties to both Infowars and Alex Jones, also known for fake news and broad conspiracies. They also seem to have ties to, or at least to be pro Russian in much of their content.  Specifically Russian Times (RT) the state run Russian news outlet. While they claim to present news from both the left and the right I saw no evidence of impartiality or opinions from the left in any of the stories I read.

Additionally, their stories are non-sourced, with no links except to their own stories, and are little more than loosely associated facts tied together broad conjecture and innuendo. When trying to research some of their claims myself I could find no corroboration from a credible source. Ironically, they are currently in a self proclaimed war against “Fake News”, and the site features several stories on the subject. These war on “fake news” stories, as with their other content, contain little fact and lots of conjecture, with links to their other stories instead of links to external sources. I have provided a breakdown of one of their stories below.

In the story  “The Mainstream Media Contortionists And Their Fake News Circus”. They begin by discussing Agnes Gruta, a journalist writing for La Presse, questioning the bias of Eva Bartlett, a journalist writing for Russia Today. While they admit Ms. Bartlett’s ties to RT, instead of addressing the possible bias of Ms. Bartlett they launch into an attack on Ms. Gruta instead. After this they delve into a broad attack of the purported bias of several other media outlets. There is also an addendum to the story by Ms. Bartlett herself, which is unusual in itself as rebuttals are usually published separately. The rebuttal purports to defend both herself and RT from the question of bias. It falls short however, as Ms. Bartlett, in her own words, admits that her work is biased:

“…no corporate newspaper would publish what I wrote–not without heavy editing and censorship and changing of my chosen lexicon.”

On a personal note, I would have trouble trusting any news source that did not exercise at least some editorial control over what they publish, even an opinion piece. I also have trouble trusting a news source that only cites itself as corroboration of it’s “facts”. (D. Kelley 2/15/2017)



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