Lots of really bad fact checking has been committed during this election cycle, notes Ben Domenech, who provides a rundown of the ten worst. Most fact checkers seem to think that finding out whether politicians’ facts really are facts isn’t really their job. Instead, they think they’re supposed to make cosmic judgments about politicians’ arguments. That wouldn’t be a problem if they didn’t call it fact checking, but they do call it fact checking and the result is that they end up calling people liars who haven’t actually lied. What should we call such fact checkers?
One hilarious example:
That thing you said is true, but it doesn’t matter. http://vlt.tc/jvp One of my personal favorites: Senior Pinocchio Manager Glenn Kessler admits that the CBO calculates the effect of Obamacare will be 800,000 workers dropping out of the workforce. But this doesn’t matter, you see, because Kessler describes 800,000 jobs as “basically a rounding error”. Kessler does this while simultaneously maintaining that the stimulus had a meaningful and positive effect on jobs – “some jobs were created, and many were saved.” Presumably the Washington Post’s headline had the jobs report shown an 800,000 increase would have been “JOBS INCREASE BASICALLY A ROUNDING ERROR.”
That’s just one of Domenech’s ten worst list, which is reproduced by Avik Roy at Forbes. [Forbes, November 5]