Chat show host Gareth Cliff was among many people flagged by fact-checkers for not bringing context to an Instagram post insinuating electoral fraud during the US elections.
He joins the ranks of many others, including US President Donald Trump and presidential contender Joe Biden, who have been flagged by fact-checkers of PolitiFact during the US election campaign and voting period. Claims are rated from “true” to “half-true” to “pants on fire”.
Cliff’s posting of a graph regarding the total presidential votes for each party in the state of the race in Michigan, with 86% of the vote counted by 7:17 on 4 November, was followed by a second image of the word “Fraud”.
The caption for his post was “Great logo”. Underneath the post, in red, was the message: “Missing context. The same information was reviewed by independent fact-checkers in another post.”
Tapping on the message for further information, the message continued: “The same information was reviewed in another post by fact-checkers. There may be small differences.
“Independent fact-checkers say information in this post is missing context and could mislead people.”
It continued with the note that PolitiFact, a fact-checking institution acquired by the Poynter Institute, had concluded that it was “Missing Context”.
“More information: PolitiFact – No, these FiveThirtyEight graphs don’t prove voter fraud.”
Asked how he felt about being flagged, Cliff said: “I just think fact-checkers are left wing hacks.”
He added: “I have no respect for fact-checkers at all.
He said he would not add context, or even discuss PolitiFact’s advisory. He further said, as a free thinking person, he was entitled to his views.
Asked whether he suspected fraud in the US election, he said there was “a lot of suspicious stuff going on” and that any person should be asking questions.
The former 5FM host formed Cliff Central, in which he discusses and facilitates discussion on a broad range of topics, including current affairs.
He also hosts “So What Now” on eNCA.
The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA fined eNCA and etv R10,000 for violation of the broadcasting code for a discussion Cliff had with conspiracy theorist David Icke on 22 and 23 July.
Following a complaint by Media Monitoring Africa, the commission found that no views countering those of Icke’s allegation that Covid-19 was a hoax were presented.
Cliff prefaced the show by saying he would let people make up their own mind.