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Weekly Standard: Lies, Damned Lies, and 'Fact Checking'


MSM fact-checkers are an absolute cancer on our political process, a cynical and partisan conceit created by the left-wing media that allows them to arbitrarily judge what is and is not the truth, all in an effort to bring down Republicans and boost Democrats. I won’t even mince words here, the Politifacts and Anderson Cooper’s “Keeping Them Honest,” and the like must be exposed and neutralized. Conservative media and anyone else interested in truth and objective reporting must get the word out about this charade.

Good heavens, the “Pulitzer Prize winning” Politifact has gone so far as to protect Obama from “Saturday Night Live.”

No, really.

During the 2008 campaign, I watched in awe as fact-checking became a very effective weapon against the McCain-Palin camp. Get as angry as you want at this insidious practice, but the invention was pure genius. By disguising their left-wing agendas as “facts” and “truth,” these MSM fact-checkers allowed the left-wing media to turn every Republican criticism aimed at Obama into a backfire.

It goes a little something like this:

1. Republicans launch an effective attack.

2. Obama’s Media Palace Guards find a way to call that attack dishonest.

3. Obama’s Media Palace Guards then make the so-called dishonesty the issue.

4. *Poof* the narrative immediately turns from criticism of Obama into the dishonesty of Republicans.

5. That narrative lasts for days, putting our side on defense and off message.

If that particular scenario sounds familiar, that’s because it’s already happening in this campaign.

Over at the Weekly Standard, Mark Hemingway’s done a superb job of pulling the mask off of this wildly dishonest pratice, and with 2012 heating up, it’s not a moment too soon:

A major reason PolitiFact kicked off a national fact-checking craze was that it was introduced in 2007, just in time to play a major role in the last presidential election, in which one contender was an overwhelming media favorite. (Brooks Jackson, the founder of, actually traces the genesis of media fact checking to the frustration journalists felt over the supposedly unfair media coverage Michael Dukakis received in the 1988 campaign. And who has not lamented the unflattering media coverage Democrats have received since then?)

Like it or not, it seems that media “fact checks” are poised to be even more widespread in the coming election. Aside from fact-checking debates afterward, as the Associated Press has done, the Washington Post and Bloomberg, which hosted the October 11 GOP debate, actually took the novel tack of running “fact checks” on what the candidates were saying in real time. While presidential candidates should not be above being held accountable for what they say in such a forum, there is good reason to be skeptical that instantaneous evaluations will ever prove useful or fair.

So with 2012 just around the corner, brace yourself for a fact-checking deluge. Just remember: The fact checker is less often a referee than a fan with a rooting interest in the outcome.

You’ll want to read the whole thing.


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