Facts: So Tiresome

God, Politico pisses me off.Starting right from the headline: Fact-checking: Does anyone care?

Yes, because fact-checking ought to be dependent on the reaction it provokes. We ought only to fact-check politicians (Which, again, let me reiterate my annoyance that it’s now “fact-checking” as separate from “journalism,” as if the former isn’t the latter, or the latter precludes the former. GAAAAH.) if people really give a shit. If people shrug, then there’s no reason to do the story. This bullshit point of view brought to you by the USA PATRIOT Act, the FISA compromise, the Iraq War, and every child who died of poverty in the United States of America in the last four decades.

Assholes. I know people think Politico’s in the tank for Republicans; my problem isn’t that they’re in the tank for anybody. It’s that they’re smug and self-satisfied, and thus continuing on the glorious tradition of political journalism they pioneered at the smug, self-satisfied newspapers they came from. Which I should be happy about, since it proves my point that it’s the skill set, not the medium. A douchebag in print will be a douchebag online, and the reverse as well.


“In 2004, Factcheck.org was considered [the] authority,” said a senior McCain aide, who was provided by the campaign to speak about fact-checking on a not-for-attribution basis. He said he would “love to see it get back” to “fewer” fact-checking arms.

“It’s reaching a level of ridiculousness that demands some re-consideration of the role fact-checking should play,” the aide said.

Forget that NATURALLY the losing campaign full of losers wishes there were fewer people pointing out they blow underage wombats daily. Why on earth would you grant anonymity to this professional jackass? “To speak about fact-checking on a not-for-attribution basis?” Seriously? They can’t go on the record about how they have problems with the record? This is such a controversial statement that they need to hide behind a shield due only whistleblowers and people geniunely standing up for justice? What’s next, somebody didn’t want to comment on the record about the blue of the McCain campaign’s signs not being the exact shade he or she wanted? What the hell is going on?

“We’re so hyper about fact-checking,” the McCain aide said, “that you have candidates actually curtailing what they believe they can tell the American people.”

Thank God this guy’s off the record, because basically he is saying, “If you’d all just sit down and put those pictures of the wombat away my boss could get back to lying about his past as a bestial pervert.” I’m so glad I have no idea who this suckhole is, lest I find out he lives near me and run out of bug spray.

Factcheck.org Director Brooks Jackson says the fact-checker’s mission is to put the facts out there and “let the chips falls where they may.”

Which also the last time I checked WAS THE JOB OF REPORTERS TOO JESUS ALOYSIUS TITS.

“In theory, that can be a problem for us,” he said. “If only one candidate was distorting facts, we would look awfully biased. So far, it’s not a problem, although at the time [Rudy] Giuliani came along, we began to wonder.”

The Washington Post’s Michael Dobbs recalls a particular wrangle with camp Giuliani over a radio ad that claimed that only 44 percent of people with prostate cancer in England survive under their system of “socialized medicine.”

“I talked to people at NIH and the National Cancer Institute and they told me that his statistics were flawed,” Dobbs said. He awarded Giuliani a “four Pinocchio” rating for the claim, noting in a blog post that “the mayor seems to be making a habit of making sweeping statements with little or no factual support.”

The Giuliani campaign “found that shocking,” said Dobbs, “that a reporter would decide on his own authority which side is on the truth. I think it’s taken some getting used to.”

I just … I need … help me out here. I don’t know what to do with these people. Maybe they found it shocking BECAUSE IT’S BEEN SO LONG SINCE ANYBODY DID IT. And news to the north, but just because the campaign finds it shocking doesn’t mean it actually matters.

Kill me. And the wombat.


9 thoughts on “Facts: So Tiresome

  1. Hey, the wombat’s underage. Do you really want the McCain camp claiming we kill fetal wombats?
    I didn’t think so.
    Srsly, tho, what the hell has to happen for journalism to become, you know, journalism again? Do we need an intervention? Deprogrammers? What?

  2. A. Your first link isn’t working.
    I think the computer threw it up and chose to pick a url that didn’t make it vomit. Linking to Politico is sick making for everyone.

  3. who was provided by the campaign to speak about fact-checking on a not-for-attribution basis.
    Where’s Terry Gilliam when we need him?
    This reminds me of watching the punditry whine and worry back when it was becoming evident that Obama wasn’t going to get down in the mud with the McCain attacks. They were beside themselves, because… well… how do you cover someone like that? I mean, that’s not the way politics is supposed to be played, we don’t know, we just don’t know…
    Entrenchment. It’s what’s for breakfast.

  4. Are there any journalists who say “no” to an anonymous source who exists just to spin?
    Could there be more?

  5. am i misremembering the blowback in the years after bush’s invasion of iraq about the use of anonymous sources and the excuse given was that “people wouldn’t want to speak unless we make their statements anonymous”?
    only a small percentage of the statements out of the mccain campaign (am i wrong?) are attributed to a specific person, the majority are just that generic “mccain aide.”
    yeah, i guess they want to go back to the good old days before fact-checking was, you know, EFFECTIVE and THOROUGH (well, sort of, mostly).
    on my post-debate, pre-election wish list?
    the video of the minute or two after the debate when mccain was wandering around the stage from which that fabulous picture of grandpa mccain comes.

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