A fact-check claim from Politifact on the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse got brutal blowback online after the judge in the case sunk a central charge in the case.
Rittenhouse is on trial for the fatal shooting of two people and injury of a third during a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Prosecutors allege that the 18-year-old is guilty of murder, but his attorney is arguing that he acted in self-defense.
Politifact’s attempt at fact-checking from Aug. 2020 didn’t stand the test of time after Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 against Rittenhouse on Monday.
Schroeder ruled that Rittenhouse was legally allowed to possess a rifle because of Wisconsin’s open carry law, as long as it met certain minimum length requirements.
The fact-check claimed it was not legal for Rittenhouse, who was seventeen at the time of the shooting, to possess the rifle without parental supervision.
The article noted that there was an exception for some teenagers in cases where they were hunting, but added, “Rittenhouse wasn’t in Kenosha to hunt.”
Many on social media took the news organization to task for levying up the claims clearly contradicted by the ruling of the judge in Rittenhouse’s case.
“This fact check was always wrong, but now that the weapons charge has been dropped it’s officially PANTS ON FIRE,” replied Mark Hemingway.
“You guys really should look for another line of work,” read one popular tweet.
“Are you going to factcheck yourself now?” asked another critic.
“Issue an immediate retraction,” demanded another popular tweet.
Politifact also noted that their finding had been used as a basis for Facebook to censor claims on their social media platform.
Here’s the latest on the Rittenhouse trial:
Rittenhouse Prosecutor Gets MOCKED When He BOTCHES Facts on Guns