Over the weekend, the White House started laying the groundwork for redefining “recession.”

This is actually the hardest they’ve worked in a very long time. It’s almost impressive.

But they’ve still got their work cut out for them. It’s going to take some extra elbow grease to get Americans to just completely forget everything they’d been taught about what constitutes a recession. Fortunately, they have help from the media. And from social media, too. Economic and political historian Phil Magness recently got a glaring reminder about that when he tried to post on Facebook about the White House’s verbal and intellectual gymnastics surrounding the definition of “recession”:

Facebook is clamping down on fake news that isn’t actually fake news. And citing PolitiFact to do it, no less!

If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t like being gaslit and dares to point out that the White House is trying to gaslight us on “recession,” expect to hear from PolitiFact and Facebook about it:

The White House blog post in question — which said the two-quarter metric is not the “official definition” and that the official ruling is made based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to change in GDP — is in accord with what the NBER has long said. And it’s not a sudden change.

This was PolitiFact’s official ruling on the matter:

Instagram posts said, “The White House is now trying to protect Joe Biden by changing the definition of the word recession.”

It’s certainly to the White House’s political advantage to get ahead of potentially bad economic news, and there are plenty of indications that the U.S. economy faces significant challenges, including the possibility of an eventual recession.

But the White House blog post cited is not only accurate about the official definition, but evidence shows it’s not a definition the White House suddenly cooked up as cover.

We rate the statement False.

“PolitiFact is a respectable fact-checking outlet and Facebook is respectable for using PolitiFact to try to gaslight people under the umbrella of fighting misinformation and disinformation.

We rate that statement false. Like, pants-on-fire false.

And, as Magness is careful to point out, PolitiFact (and Facebook) didn’t seem to have the same enthusiasm for fact-checking the definition of “recession” back when Joe Biden was throwing the word around:

It’s almost as if fact-checking is subjective — which is exactly what it’s not supposed to be.

For what it’s worth, it does seem like PolitiFact and Facebook are at least consistent in coming after conservatives who draw attention to Democrats behaving badly. Club For Growth senior analyst Andrew Follett was also smacked on Facebook for a post about the White House’s shenanigans:

And round and round we go.

It never ends.

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Related:

Erick Erickson zeroes in on what the Biden administration’s ‘recession’ redefinition will tell us about the MSM going forward