Jesse Watters purportedly attempted to fact-check NBC News reporter Ben Collins on Wednesday night.
The result was a misleading segment that most charitably could be chalked up to a misapprehension of the facts – or less charitably, a willful distortion of what actually occurred.
On Friday, Collins published a story about how horrendous videos of cats and dogs being tortured and killed were making the rounds on Twitter. Some users reported searching for “cat” and noticing that Twitter suggested the autocomplete search term “cat in a blender.” When they clicked, they were immediately shown a video of a kitten being killed in the appliance.
Autocomplete suggestions for “dog” yielded similarly graphic content.
Collins further noted that human snuff footage also spread on the platform.
“Last weekend, gory videos from two violent events in Texas spread on Twitter, with some users saying that the images had been pushed into the platform’s algorithmic ‘For You’ feed,” he said.
Collins said Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s mass layoffs and rejiggering of the platform’s technology have allowed such content to more easily surface and spread on the site.
Twitter has since deactivated the autocomplete feature on the platform.
Watters, who regards Musk as a “genius,” performed a so-called fact check of the reporting on Jesse Watters Primetime.
“The media used to love Elon Musk, but then he left the mob, so they brought out the character assassins,” he said on Wednesday night. He then aired a clip of Collins on MSNBC relaying what he found on Twitter.
“You are searching for the word cat and you get a cat literally inside of a blender being blended to death,” Collins said. “Don’t want to talk about that on TV, but that is what’s going on. And that’s because [Musk] ripped out the wires that wouldn’t have made that happen and eliminated the staff that would have checked.”
“Was that an analogy?” he asked. “Because we had to see if this was true. Primetime searched the word ‘cat’ on Twitter. There’s no cats in blenders. None.”
But to repeat, Twitter has since disabled its autocomplete search function entirely. Moreover, a non-autocomplete search for “cat in a blender” yields the message, “This is an invalid search query.”
As Watters spoke, a Fox chyron read, “Fact Check: Twitter’s Not Blending Cats.”
In this case, the chyron “refuted” a claim that no one made in the first place – that Twitter put a cat in a blender.
Shortly after the segment aired, Collins blasted Fox News and accused the network of lying.
(Excerpt) Read more in: Mediaite