Monday, May 03, 2021 sets the record straight on its funding, and Biden's positions on guns and meat has a trio of recent posts worthy of mention here. 

The first involves itself, or more specifically, a feature called SciCheck launched in 2015 to help the public better understand scientific research, Eugene Kiely reports. SciCheck began a Covid-19 Misconceptions page in December, funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky, recently alleged in a tweet that presents biased information about coronavirus vaccines because the late Robert Wood Johnson II was president of Johnson & Johnson for decades, and because the foundation still holds stock in the company. 

"Contrary to Massie’s suggestion, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — as is the case with all of our funders — has no control over our editorial content. Period. Full stop," Kiely writes. "As with our funding, we are also transparent about our editorial process for selecting, researching, editing and, if necessary, correcting our articles." Kiely notes FactCheck's financial transparency policies and briefly discusses where its writers get their facts. 

Conservative news sources, politicians and social media accounts have accused President Biden of seeking to force Americans to mostly stop eating red meat to help the environment, but that's false, Robert Farley reports

The rumor stems from Biden's opening remarks at the Virtual Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22, where he talked about how parts of his American Jobs Plan would help the U.S. cut greenhouse-gas emissions in half by the end of the decade. He mentioned that farmers could deploy "cutting-edge tools" to reduce carbon emissions, but didn't mention beef or cattle ranching (which Farley notes does account for some greenhouse-gas emissions). 

Afterward, British publication the Daily Mail ran a story with an alarmist headline: "How Biden’s climate plan could limit you to eat just one burger a MONTH, cost $3.5K a year per person in taxes, force you to spend $55K on an electric car and ‘crush’ American jobs." The story cites a University of Michigan study showing that Americans could cut its diet-related greenhouse-gas emissions in half by 2030 if they cut their red-meat consumption to about four pounds per year. "But again, nothing in Biden’s stated plans mentions anything about reducing beef consumption," Farley reports.

But conservative news outlets, social media accounts and politicos boosted the signal on the story, insinuating or outright stating that Biden sought to force Americans to cut meat consumption. For example, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., said in a tweet that "Joe Biden’s climate plan includes cutting 90% of red meat from our diets by 2030. They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn’t Joe stay out of my kitchen?" On April 26, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack categorically denied that the Biden administration has any plans to reduce beef consumption.

And finally, President Biden "opposes the sale of assault weapons, and he supports a mandatory federal registry and a voluntary buyback program for all legally purchased assault weapons. But a video shared on Twitter by Sen. Ted Cruz leaves the false impression Biden wants to confiscate all guns," Farley reports.

The April 27 video, released the night before Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress, includes a clip in which Cruz accuses Biden of seeking to "erase the Second Amendment," Farley reports. Then the video shows a clip of CNN's Anderson Cooper prompting Biden: "To gun owners out there who say, well, a Biden administration means they're going to come for my guns." Then, the video shows Biden answering, "Bingo."

"Left out is Biden’s full answer, which makes clear he was referring only to the purchase of semi-automatic firearms, or so-called assault weapons," Farley reports. In the interview, Biden explicitly says he would not try to confiscate legally purchased assault weapons.

If it sounds like FactCheck is unfairly coming down on Republicans, we would note that the site has plenty to say about Biden administration claims, including a thorough fact-check of his recent address to Congress (The Rural Blog ran a similar one).

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