Snopes thought it needed to correct the record about a factual claim covering the timing of former President Bill Clinton‘s firing of then-FBI Director William Sessions in 1993.
On Thursday, the fact-checking website spotlighted a well-worn statement being boosted by conspiracy theorists on the Internet: “President Bill Clinton fired FBI Director William Sessions one day before Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster was found dead of a suicide.”
Snopes rated the statement “mixture,” and then offered “what’s true.”
President Clinton fired FBI Director William Sessions on 19 July 1993, one day before Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster, a longtime associate of the Clintons, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
So there’s nothing untruthful in the original statement!
The “what’s true” declaration merely specifies when Sessions was fired and how Foster committed suicide.
The website then revealed what they were actually taking issue with: “There is nothing inherently suspicious about the coincidental timing of Sessions’s firing and Vince Foster’s death (which was determined to be a suicide).” The original claim, however, didn’t say anything about the timing.
Snopes would go on to spend multiple paragraphs hyping the “supporters of the [Trump] administration [who] took to social media” and pointed out Clinton’s firing of Sessions.
The conspiracies surrounding Foster are obviously fringe, but as a fact-checking website, Snopes has no right to debase widely accepted facts just because they don’t like what certain people do with those facts.
Shout out to James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal for alerting us to this fake news!
— James Taranto (@jamestaranto) May 12, 2017
[image via screengrab]
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