A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source. See all Questionable sources.
- Overall, we rate MSMLies a Questionable right biased source based on poor sourcing of information and a complete lack of transparency. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to a lack of context and poor or zero hyperlinked sources on many of their checks.
Reasoning: Poor Sourcing, Complete Lack of Transparency
Founded in 2017, MSMLies.com or Mainstream Media Lies is a website that provides examples of perceived mainstream media outlets that have made false or misleading claims. The website completely lacks transparency as they do not offer an about page to describe the purpose of the site, nor do they name owners, authors, or disclose the location.
Funded by / Ownership
MSMLies do not indicate ownership, however, revenue is derived through donations.
Analysis / Bias
In review, MSMLies publishes purported instances of false claims by media outlets that they identify as mainstream. The right sidebar contains a list of sources that they have (fact) checked. Virtually all sources on this list lean left with only 3 sources that can be considered right, such as Fox News, Daily Mail, and the Wall Street Journal. In reviewing the list, it appears they primarily target 4 sources: CNN 110 times, MSNBC 32 times, Washington Post 26 times, and the New York Times 23 times. Coincidentally, these are the same sources President Trump routinely accuses of fake news.
MSMLies does not perform fact checks, but rather usually provides screenshots of stories that are then compared to another source’s accounts with a screenshot and link. For example, in this supposed lie they state “CNN claims Senator Cruz is afraid to talk to them, but they already did an interview with him and won’t air it on TV.” They then provide a screenshot of a Ted Cruz tweet refuting the claim. The problem with this is there is not a link or proof that CNN made the statement that Cruz is “afraid.” We are not disputing that CNN said it, perhaps they did, but without evidence of this, it is not a credible fact check.
In another supposed lie committed by NBC they state “NBC makes up story “Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military.” This check also uses screenshots with a link, however, the irony of this, is the source they have labeled as lying 110 times (CNN), is the proof for the claim against NBC. Do you see where this is going? CNN is not credible unless refuting another left-leaning source? As mentioned above, they include Fox News as a mainstream media source that lies as well. In this Fox check, they claim Fox lies about impeachment poll, however, all this story lists is two graphics that are unreadable and without description, there also is not a link to investigate further.
Another issue with this source is what they fact check. For example, Snopes fact-checked the claim of whether Trump sent his plane to pick up marines. Rather, than accept this claim, they point out one line in the fact check: Snopes makes a false claim about Trump showing no prior interest in the Marines. The line concerns Trump’s regard for the Marines: “to whom he had shown no prior affinity”, they then publish an unsourced document from 1989, that indicated the Trump Foundation gave $100K to the Marine Corp. Again, perhaps he did, but an old dot-matrix printout without a sourced link is meaningless, further it has nothing to do with the actual fact check, which proved Trump did not send a plane for the Marines.
In general, MSMLies attempts to refute perceived Mainstream Media false claims, however, most of those reviewed were subjective and not reliant on objective facts that can be fact-checked, which is the hallmark of a proper fact check. MSMLies also leans strongly right in their choice of the Lies they choose to expose. For example, the Daily Mail has a few false claims according to them, when in reality they have documented 100’s over the years, yet CNN, which has certainly failed some fact checks, is not even close to the tabloid level of the Daily Mail.
Overall, we rate MSMLies a Questionable right biased source based on poor sourcing of information and a complete lack of transparency. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to a lack of context and poor or zero hyperlinked sources on many of their checks. (D. Van Zandt 1/31/2020)