Yesterday, on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Glenn Kessler, who writes the Washington Post column The Fact Checker, said he doesn’t call people liars. Really? One wonders what, say, a MSM fact-checker would think of that statement. Granted, Kessler doesn’t use the word “liar,” but he does assign Pinocchios, sometimes up to four of them. Calling someone a Pinocchio isn’t exactly like calling someone a liar, just as calling someone an elephant isn’t exactly like calling them fat.
Or maybe this fact-checker should heal himself.
In the world of politics where hyperbole, shorthand, nuance, and soundbites rule the day, no one has the right to assume the role of fact-checker. And in a world where the MSM has completely abdicated every journalistic principle and responsibility when it comes to objective reporting — the very last institution doing any kind of high-ground fact-checking should be one so shamelessly dishonest it refuses to profess its own biases up front.
The MSM assuming the role of fact-checking has about as much moral authority as the Capone Mob regulating prohibition.
Whether it’s Fact Checker, PolitiFact, Anderson Cooper’s Keeping Them Honest, or the too-many self-appointed Guardians of Truth currently infesting the MSM, these outlets are an arrogant, dishonest and biased cancer on the very idea of journalism and most certainly on a democracy.
Yes, you’ve heard these arguments from me before because, along with many others on the right, I’ve been making them for years. But suddenly we’re not alone. Suddenly NPR has decided to wring their hands over MSM fact-checkers. But why now?
Well, unless you’re dim enough to believe in coincidence, that’s an easy answer: recently, left-wing PolitiFact momentarily turned on the left:
After two years of being pounded by Republicans with often false charges about the 2010 health care law, the Democrats were turning the tables.
PolitiFact debunked the Medicare charge in nine separate fact-checks rated False or Pants on Fire, most often in attacks leveled against Republican House members.
Now, PolitiFact has chosen the Democrats’ claim as the 2011 Lie of the Year.
Now, before you get all weepy with joy over PolitiFact seeing the light, trust me, they haven’t. Going after Democrats in this way was nothing more than cover, a way for PolitiFact to take a high-profile shot at the left in order to keep up the charade of being objective. Sometimes, when you’re undercover, you have to do something dramatic to keep up the ruse. We’re going into a crucial election year and that ruse is going to be important if Obama’s going to win a second term. And if you look at PolitiFact’s front page this very day, you’ll see that the leaf they pretended to turn has already turned back.
What was most interesting about the NPR segment, though, was that no one diclosed the fact that NPR has climbed into bed with PolitiFact to nuzzle PolitiFact’s ear as PolitifFact nuzzle’s Obama’s ear:
To help you sort out the truth in the avalanche of claims from the 2012 campaign, PolitiFact and NPR are partnering for Message Machine, a year-long venture to highlight the candidates’ exaggerations and falsehoods.
In Latin, does “shameless liar” translate to “fact-checker?”
There’s really no other explanation.