Got an Opinion? Be a Fact-Checker
(Kennedy Smith is judging you. Check his reality-based facts @TheKennedy Smith)
Our good friend and Twitter follower Mark Hemingway came bounding off the Weekly Standard cruise ship rarin to go. He came up with a doozy about this weird new profession of “fact-checking” (ie, whatever I think is a fact; the rest of you people are anti-fact). Read the whole thing, and prepare for blood-boiling:
Today’s fact checkers are largely uninterested in emphasizing the primacy of information. Accordingly, this is what happens when the media talk about fact checking: The Washington Post pats the AP on the back for questioning the veracity of a media-created narrative ex post facto, then cites a brazenly partisan blogger as proof that the effort to smack it down was successful.
Cause they’re FACTS, gosh-darn it. Can’t argue with facts. What are you, some kind of knuggle-dragging anti-science guy?
What’s going on here should be obvious enough. With the rise of cable news and the Internet, traditional media institutions are increasingly unable to control what political rhetoric and which narratives catch fire with the public. Media fact-checking operations aren’t about checking facts so much as they are about a rearguard action to keep inconvenient truths out of the conversation.
Fact-checkers are paid actual money to plug everyone’s ears and go la-la-la-la. Nice work if you can get it. It’s an Eternal Truth: Liberals want Conservatives to shut the heck up. Conservatives want Liberals to just keep on talking.