The Washington Free Beacon

Fact Check

Facebook fact-checks The Washington Free Beacon report on the Biden Administration's safe smoking kits: Facebook fact-checker Lead Stories flagged a Washington Free Beacon post because it reported that the Biden Administration was "set to fund the distribution of crack pipes as part of its plan to advance 'racial equality.'" The report referred to the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration "FY 2022 Harm Reduction Program Grant," which included funding for "Safe smoking kits/supplies," according to the grant announcement. Lead Stories claimed that the report contained false information because The Washington Free Beacon both claimed that the funding "will provide pipes for users to smoke crack cocaine" and that "[a]n HHS spokesman declined to specify what is included in the smoking kits." Brent Scher, executive editor at the Free Beacon, reportedly gave The Washington Post an explanation for the apparent discrepancy. "They said they would not specify what is in the kits. Our follow up was to verify that the kits were in fact for smoking crack, which they confirmed. Based on what has been put in crack smoking kits across the country, we reported that the government would be funding crack pipes. This is what smoking kits are.” Lead Stories also claimed The Washington Free Beacon misattributed the purpose of the policy, ignoring that the grant document itself points out that the "The behavioral health disparity impact statement" found in the document "is in alignment with the expectations related to Executive Order 13985 'Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.'" Snopes and AFP issued similar fact checks of the same report and claims. According to Facebook, users fail to click through fact-check interstitials 95% of the time.