Friday, September 28, 2012

Post Bashing

Erick Wemple wrote

"the studies that have shown that fact-checking operations are tougher on Republican than Democratic politicians"

I comment with some vigor.



I haven't clicked the link, but I don't believe that there are studies which "have shown that fact-checking operations are tougher on Republican than Democratic politicians?" For a study to demonstrate such a thing it would have to
1) determine the fact of the matter on all questions fact checkers checked.  not just try to fact check the fact checkers but do so beyond any further doubt
2) Determine the fact of the matter on all questions fact checkers have not checked (to see if fact checkers are letting more Demcratic falsehoods than Republican falsehoods by)
3) decide which of all claims of fact are important enough to check.

I think the studies have shown at least one of two things: fact checkers are tougher on Republicans or Republicans have more trouble with the truth.

I don't think any sentient organism can have failed to notice the astonishing volume or Republican lies joined to the incredible mass of sincere Republican delusions and ignorance.

Rather than trying to find a non partisan objective source, how about looking at partisan sources.  I assume there is a Republican analogue to Steve Benen whose "chronicling Mitt's Mendacity" series at the RachelMaddowblog suggests that fact checkers are being very kind indeed to Romney.

For the next column in your exhaustive exhausting series, how about rechecking Benen and (mystery Republican fact checker or hell 3 against 1 would be fine).  That's how we traditionally settle disputes of fact in court.

My guess is the bottom line is that, after fact checking partisan fact checkers, you would conclude that non partisan fact checkers are grossly massively biased in favor of Republicans, because the facts have a clear liberal bias and they know that if they don't Ballance the bias of the fact by being easier on Republicans they will be accused of bias.

As your colleague Ezra Klein wrote "you can look fair, or you can be fair."  I'd say if the rest of the Washington Post staff wasn't so determined to look fair, then the rest of you put together might be almost as valuable as wonkblog.
This is not humorous exaggeration, by the way.  I consider wonkblog to be much much more valuable than the rest of the paper.

ps ballance is not a typo.  google [ ballance cilizza ]and you will find rock solid proof that the Post's approach to comparing the parties consisted of establishing objective rules, applying them, finding the Republicans looked worse than the Democrats, breaking the rules to cheat and shave the point spread and publishing all of it so the rule and the violation of the rule were in the same article.

Note that Cilizza wrote in the Post of the responsible editor "(he's been flogged)".
I note that he didn't name the editor in question (Post policy on granting anonymity to editors ?).  I see no evidence that he reported the aggravated assault of the editor to the police (I can't imagine that a post chat published a flat out falsehood without a correction but please do factcheck Culizza's assertion that a violent crime was inflicted on a Washington Post employee as part of your fact checking series).

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