But I’ve evolved. It’s been 11 years since we launched PolitiFact, and I think it’s time to move beyond my beloved meter. I am heading a project at Duke University that is developing ways to automate fact-checking—including new ways to present the conclusions. I think the Truth-O-Meter’s ratings (which now range from True to Pants on Fire) are still effective for many readers. But I have come to realize that in our polarized environment, the meter I invented is not reaching everyone, and not reaching conservatives in particular.
BECAUSE THEY DON’T BELIEVE IN FACTS JESUS CHRIST THEY’RE IN A DEATH CULT OF COURSE A FUCKIN’ TRUTH-O-METER (this was always so goddamn dumb anyway) DOESN’T “REACH” THEM. To reach someone they have to be reaching back, not macing you backwards as they run from the life preserver you’re throwing them.
The stupid ratings system (FOUR PINOCCHIOS! THIS WILL SHOW THEM!) with its stupid cartoon illustrations was always garbage. People smart enough to care where someone’s statements fell on the meter were insulted by the childishness of it, and people who needed the info resented being told their favorite fanboy’s pants were on fire.
This is the journalism headline right now. This is what we’ve all decided collectively to give a shit about. Journalism employment is in the toilet and executive bonuses are through the roof and every time some reporter asks for more money to cover something the entire company gets rebranded to “wheeze.biz” so a consultant can talk about feeding content into a funnel.
But please, do let’s jerk ourselves off about the stupid cartoon names we use to designate politicians lying, because no matter how dumb they are some conservatives will FEEL VERY ATTACKED BY PEOPLE FLAUNTING THEIR INTELLIGENCE AND ABILITY TO KNOW THINGS AND READ WORDS.