So, was Biden planning to give away “free” crack pipes or not?

What if a fact-checker’s “mostly false” is itself “mostly false”?

You just can’t make this stuff up…

Last week a bruhaha broke out when right-leaning media reported:


Of course, Jen “Bagdad Bob” Psaki ran to the press room podium to declare that the reports were completely false … fabricated by right-wing conspiracy theorists.

So, Snopes had to step in and do a dispute-resolving fact-check:


The bold summary rating: MOSTLY FALSE.

But, Snope’s own fine print doesn’t seem to match their conclusions for the 2 central questions:

1. Were crack pipes part of the program?

2. Were they included as an “equity measure”?

Specifically, Snope’s original fact-check said:

It’s true that the grant description required the provision of harm reduction supplies and listed “safe smoking kits” as an example.

But, those kits constituted just one of several sub-components of an even longer list of requirements for grant recipients.

“Crack pipes” were actually only a very small part of the program.


The grant’s purpose was, quite logically, to reduce harm and infection among existing drug users.

The provision of safer smoking supplies did not have as its primary purpose advancing the cause of racial equity.

However, the grant description did state that priority would be given to applicants who serve communities that are historically underserved.

In other words, the grant’s terms encouraged recipients to advance racial equity while working for harm reduction, not the other way round.

That’s a crucial distinction which many outlets got wrong.

To summarize Snope’s own findings: Crack pipes were in the program and racial equity was an objective.

So, Snope’s “mostly false” headline is itself somewhere between “totally false” or, at best, “mostly false”.


Subsequently, HHS issued a “clarification” that crack pipes would be explicitly excluded from the program … and both Psaki and Snopes started brushing off questions as “outdated”.


Another aspect of the program was questioned by the always-on-target Babylon Bee:


The Bee’s punch line:

“If you won’t inject yourself with an experimental vaccine then you can’t be trusted to use anything but black tar heroin,” said Psaki. “No safe zones for crack cocaine until we’re sure you’re not going to infect others with a mild disease.”

I’ll go with the Bee’s account…

Hat tip to SMH for feeding the Snope’s fact check.

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