Fact-Checking is dead

Yesterday when I first saw the splashy headlines that the animal who murdered seventeen people was a member of a White Supremacist group, my first thought was, “Doubt it.”

Call it an internal fact-checking ability, but it just smelled to high heaven.

But despite seeming on its face to be complete nonsense, the so-called Free and Independent Press ran with it.

Well, it wasn’t true.

But see, this is the problem with our once “Free and Independent Press.” They are so desperate to run stories that reinforce their political agenda that they don’t bother fact-checking anymore.

And when fact-checking dies, journalism is over.

You’ll note that the Associated Press still has not removed those tweets.

And Judd Legum from “Think Progress” hasn’t removed his either.

Instead, he tweeted it out again with this “UPDATE:”

So he links to the story claiming this murderer is part of a white supremacist group but adds the caveat that he isn’t part of a white supremacist group.

This is their idea of responsible journalism.

They don’t care that it’s wrong.

All they care about is getting that narrative out there as quickly as possible.

That way even when the story is debunked, it won’t matter.

From now on, despite it being a lie, the narrative will be that a man who was part of a White Supremacist group murdered 17 people at a Florida high school.

There’s nothing new to this.

Just think “Hands up; don’t shoot.”

The news media is no longer responsible journalism – or journalism of any kind.

The role of the news media today is to advance a narrative – not report facts, not seek the truth, only advance a narrative.

And when the narrative becomes more important than facts or the truth, fact-checking is an impediment.

So fact-checking has to go.

Take this stupid claim that there have been 18 school shootings in 2018.

It’s not true.

But it doesn’t matter. That claim is now considered fact.

In his excellent column today, Lying About Gun Violence With Statistics, Daniel Greenfield makes this point:

Everytown jumped on the Parkland, Florida school shooting to claim that there were “18 shootings at schools in the first 45 days of 2018.” If that sounds like a lot, you’re right.
 
But Everytown was being literally true, and false in every other way. There were 18 shootings at schools: counting suicides, accidental firearms discharges and shootings in the general vicinity of a school even when the building is completely empty. In around half of the shootings, no one was injured.
 
But the media initially fell for the Everytown hoax because it fit the narrative.

In this case, fact-checking wouldn’t have made a difference.

Why?

Simple. Even if they discovered that the facts prove this is a manipulated statistic, the news media would have run with it anyway. Because facts don’t matter – only the narrative does.

To be honest, I was stunned to come across this tweet from the Washington Post:

But it didn’t matter that the Washington Post did some fact-checking.

The Left doesn’t care about facts.

This is a typical response to the Post’s tweet:

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that fact-checking is dead when Americans like this one don’t want the truth.

Fortunately for her and those like her, most of the news media is no longer in the “truth” business.

And when we as a nation or as a society decide that Truth no longer matters, why should we be surprised that our once “Free and Independent Press” is happy to oblige?

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6 thoughts on “Fact-Checking is dead

  • February 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm
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    They believe these stories, because they want to believe them

  • February 16, 2018 at 3:54 pm
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    No one does their own reporting all that much anymore. Competition was removed from that market so instead now someone does a little bit of reporting and then sells it to other news outlets. It is reporting along the lines of the old school game ‘Telephone’.

    I also have to agree with the poster gary…they want to believe it which says a whole lot more about them than anything else.

  • February 17, 2018 at 8:05 am
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    Dianne, this goes back to Dan Rather and “Memogate,” (and probably much further back than that). Remember ole Dan’s comment that the memo was false but the story was true? Even with no evidence to support it?

  • February 17, 2018 at 8:15 am
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    When you have a narrative to push by the seven o’clock news, facts tend to take too much time to collect.

    It’s easier to lie.

  • February 18, 2018 at 9:14 am
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    “Facts, the real inconvenient truth!”

  • February 18, 2018 at 10:13 am
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    The narrative is the witch doctor’s tool because fact checking a narrative is not possible while the rant is on going. “Wait! Wait, you said …”. “Just let me finish.” And finishing is another string of lies.

    Be skeptical in dialogue and of books, but once the truth is found it is forever. Hang the Sword of Damocles over a narrator’s head, hang it by the Thread of Truth.

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