January 2019: When media fact-checkers finally jumped the shark

The Washington Times | 1/8/2018 | Staff
DebraS (Posted by) Level 3
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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The 48-hour build-up to President Trump’s first Oval Office address to the nation was chock-full of breathless hand-wringing in the media over whether they should air the speech in the first place.

Speech - Lies - Distortions - Panel - Shows

“How can we air a speech that will be full of lies and distortions?” they asked each other on endless panel shows. “Maybe we should tape-delay the address so we can contextualize his statements and provide a thorough fact-check,” they insultingly suggested.

This is the Trump era. Fact-checking has moved into the mainstream. CNN’s 22-year-old production assistants are now responsible for running lower-third graphics designed to snark the president’s remarks so their dwindling audience can feel the smugness that comes with knowing they’ve received the revealed truth thereby forgoing any need to hear alternate views or challenge a belief.

Week - Something - Week - Media - Fact-checkers

But this week, something changed. This week, the media fact-checkers jumped the shark.

Within the first minute of Mr. Trump’s address, The Washington Post posted a political argument under the “Fact-Check” heading. Given that the post is time-stamped 9:02 p.m., the Post had to have been pre-written and published to time with the speech that had yet-to-be delivered.

Crisis - Border - Live - Fact - Check

“There is no new crisis at the border,” the “Live Fact Check” claimed. Politico issued a similar “not a crisis” “fact-check.”

Those are not fact-checks. The idea that an elected official is lying by calling a situation he is trying to resolve a “crisis” goes well beyond fact-checking and enters the realm of making a partisan political argument. Like other regurgitations of Democrat talking points, this is certainly a legitimate form of opinion journalism, but is not even remotely a dispassionate research project to verify facts.

Post - Fact-check - Article - Publication - Days

Furthermore, the Post fact-check contradicted an article posted in their own publication just three days earlier, in which the Post’s own journalists described the border situation as a “humanitarian crisis.”

CBS News reportedly...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Washington Times
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