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Snopes issues retraction after defense of Biden proven false

By Stew Davidson
January 30, 2024

Snopes, a well-known website considered by some as reputable source for fact-checking, recently faced a challenging situation. 

The issue revolved around a claim related to President Joe Biden's visit to Superior, Wisconsin, where he was seen wearing a construction hat in a seemingly incorrect manner. 

Snopes initially defended Biden, declaring claims of Biden's error to be false. However, this stance was met with significant criticism, leading to an eventual correction, as The Blaze reported.

Biden's Wisconsin Visit and the Hard Hat Incident

In an effort to promote his administration's pre-election infusion of funds into infrastructure projects, Biden, 81, toured a construction site in Superior with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

During this visit, Biden was photographed wearing a construction hat with the nape strap on his forehead, which seemed to indicate the hat was worn backwards.

This image quickly became a subject of mockery on social media, with critics arguing that it demonstrated Biden's detachment from the working class and a lack of understanding of practical matters.

Snopes' Initial Fact-Check and Subsequent Backlash

Snopes' journalist David Emery, intervened with a "fact-check," labeling the claim about Biden's incorrect hat-wearing as "False."

Emery argued that despite the photo's authenticity, those criticizing Biden were wrong, insisting the hat was worn correctly.

This position was maintained despite photographic evidence to the contrary, showing the construction worker who lent Biden the hat wearing his in the proper fashion.

The backlash was swift and fierce. David Urban, a well-known lobbyist and CNN commentator, criticized Snopes' judgment.

He was joined by others who pointed out the basic principles of wearing a hard hat, emphasizing the incorrect positioning of the nape strap.

The critique extended to broader discussions about the reliability of Snopes, with commentators like podcaster Tim Pool questioning the practical knowledge of its writers.

Pool wrote, "The reality is that snopes writers don't know how hard hats work."

Snopes' Revision and Acknowledgement of Error

The mounting criticism led Snopes to reevaluate its stance.

An editor's note on the revised fact-check explained the change, stating, "We received a ton of comments in a very short time challenging our assumption that wearing a hard hat 'backwards' means wearing it with the brim facing to the rear, and 'forwards' means wearing it brim to the front."

The note acknowledged that if a hard hat is configured with the bill and tightening knob at the back, wearing it with the bill forward means wearing it backward.

Thus, Snopes admitted that in the photo in question, President Biden was indeed wearing the hard hat backward and re-rated the claim as true.