Fact Checking – All the Rage

Yes, it is interesting to follow all the “who lied” and “who misled” articles right after a debate, or a major speech. This does help to keep candidates honest, and Lord knows we need that!

Still, a campaign is a contest, it’s competitive. What we really need for the press to do is keep score. We need to know not only who lied, but who lied most, and worst. At face value, the press is likely to see this as choosing sides and contrary to any purity of its mission. I beg to differ. Keeping score is what happens in sports, and hardly taints the sportscasters’ image. What a great way to show integrity of the press, by encouraging the candidates and the PACs to compete for honesty points. It would sell news, and the competition would encourage less partiality in the press as well.

I don’t believe the two parties are wildly offset – both parties are guilty of lies and half-truths – but I also think that we the public deserves some transparency. We seem to be witnessing that this malpractice exposure is equal on both sides. I doubt it.


About Jim

I've been leading outdoor environmental education in the YMCA since the 1970s. I love teaching nature, history, current events, being a dad, fixing stuff, groups, and general thinking.
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One Response to Fact Checking – All the Rage

  1. Jim says:

    Addendum to this: I am not aware of any publication that does keep score in the manner I am looking for. The closest Time magazine came was, “Compared with the Obama campaign’s, the Romney operation’s misstatements are frequently more brazen. But sometimes the most effective lie is the one that is closest to the truth, and Obama’s team has often outdone Romney’s in the dark art of subtle distortion. On both sides, the dishonesty is “about as bad as I’ve seen,” says veteran journalist Brooks Jackson, director of FactCheck.org.” And Politifact puts a section on their web site called, “A scorecard separating fact from fiction.” However, it lists individual transgressions, making no tally.

    The competition I am asking for would encourage – even beget – honesty. Each candidate would naturally seek to be held in esteem by trustworthy news sources. This sort of horse race would play well with the public and the pundits.

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