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Thursday, July 5, 2012
AIM Mad Wash. Post Political Fact-Checker Won't Do Another Person's Job
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Don Irvine spends a July 3 Accuracy in Media post whining that Washington Post political fact-checker Glenn Kessler won't do anything but political fact-checking:

Glenn Kessler, aka The Washington Post Fact Checker, informed readers that even though the Obama campaign had misinterpreted a recent Washington Post story on Bain Capital and outsourcing, he would not award any Pinocchios (his rating system for accuracy) to the Post for the actual story, since it was the interpretation of the Post story, and not the story itself, that was wrong.

[...]

So the lesson is that the Obama campaign is free to twist the information from any future Post article however they like, and though Kessler may comment on it he won’t rate its level of dishonesty. That way he can protect both the paper and his relationships with other Post employees.

Irvine conveniently ignores the fact that fact-checking the newspaper is not Kessler's job -- it's clear that he only fact-checks claims by political candidates.

The Post has an ombudsman that handles what is published by the Post itself, Patrick Pexton. In his June 29 column, Pexton addressed the Post story in question, pointing out that the article was correct in its facts but that some quibbling could be done on interpretation.

Irvine didn't mention Pexton's column in bashing Kessler for not doing something that's not his job.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EDT

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