Who Checks the Fact-Checkers?

Macduff

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Every election season, a variety of newspapers and other entities set themselves up as arbiters of the accuracy of politicians’ statements. These “fact-checkers” nearly always turn out to be liberal apologists who don a false mantle of objectivity in order to advance the cause of the Democratic Party. Maybe there are exceptions, but I can’t think of one offhand.
A case in point is Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, a liberal reporter who now claims to be The Fact-Checker, who exposes “The Truth Behind the Rhetoric.” Today his target is Rick Perry; in particular, what Kessler calls Perry’s “newbie mistake on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Perry, you see, isn’t an experienced man of the world like Glenn Kessler. This is the exchange that Kessler criticizes:
Question: Do you believe there should be a Palestinian state?
I certainly have some concerns. The first step in any peaceful negotiation for a two-state solution for the Palestinians is to recognize the right of Israel’s existence. They have to denounce terrorism in both word and deed. And they have to sit down and negotiate with Israel directly. Anything short of that is a non-starter in my opinion.
You may wonder what was wrong with Perry’s answer. It probably represents the view of 70% of Americans. But Kessler thought it exposed Perry as ignorant:
Perry’s comments to Time magazine struck us as interesting and potentially revealing. How deep is his understanding of this long-running conflict?
Perry’s statement had three parts: Palestinians must recognize Israel’s existence; they have to denounce terrorism; they have to negotiate with Israel directly. “Anything short of that is a non-starter in my opinion,” he declared.
Perry is stuck in a time warp. He’s describing a situation that existed in the 1980s, not really today. (Some people might argue about some of that, but we will explain below.)
As part of the 1993 Oslo accords, in an exchange of letters between then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the Palestine Liberation Organization met all of these conditions nearly 20 years ago. The letters are posted on the Web site of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
So, who is stuck in a time warp? Does Kessler not know what has happened during the last 20 years? Does he not understand that the Oslo Accords collapsed under the violent weight of the Second Intifada? Does he really believe that a letter written by the deceased head of a defunct organization in 1993, answers for all time the question whether Palestinians and their leaders actually accept the existence of Israel as an independent nation, let alone a Jewish state?

Who Checks the Fact-Checkers? | Power Line

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I posted this less for the Mid East discussion and more because I think it points out many of the faults of the so-called "fact-checkers" that everyone seems to think are the final word.
 
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johnflesh

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This is a very complex subject. To sum it up for me with regards to checking without dipping into any complexities is that fact checking should be a circular system manned by every person involved, not a linear system as it is commonly.
 

the watchman

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Who's checking the fact-checker, checkers? It's a bit of a paradox isn't it?
 

Macduff

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Who's checking the fact-checker, checkers? It's a bit of a paradox isn't it?
The lesson here is caveat emptor. Don't assume that because someone puts themselves in the role of "fact checker" that they are the final arbiter of truth. Some of them use a veneer of neutrality to mask their own biases.
 

the watchman

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The lesson here is caveat emptor. Don't assume that because someone puts themselves in the role of "fact checker" that they are the final arbiter of truth. Some of them use a veneer of neutrality to mask their own biases.
It's a touchy thing. I guess you just have to use your own critical thinking skills.
 

Macduff

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Here's an example. Politifact checks on the Joe Biden statement "I never called for a partition (of Iraq)" and rates him as True. But Biden absolutely called for the country to be divided into three regions. And even uses that term in the op-ed piece that the Politifact article links to. So how do they justify rating him as "True"?
 
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Here's an example. Politifact checks on the Joe Biden statement "I never called for a partition (of Iraq)" and rates him as True. But Biden absolutely called for the country to be divided into three regions. And even uses that term in the op-ed piece that the Politifact article links to. So how do they justify rating him as "True"?
They justify it by pointing to the fact that he recommended a central federal government with semi-autonomous regions, (like the USA) but not three separate countries which is what "partition" implies. It's all very clear and simple in the explanation of their rating of "True". I must be a fact-checker-checker checker.