The Washington Post needs a second fact-checker!


This one for the rest of the world: The Washington Post needs to hire a second fact-checker.

Its resident fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, has largely become official fact-checker to Barack Obama and his minions. The Post needs to hire a second fact-checker to handle the rest of the world.

We refer to the regular Fact Checker piece which appears in Sunday’s hard-copy Post. Week after week, Sunday after Sunday, Kessler now fact-checks one way.

Just so you’ll know, this Sunday’s July 7 fact-checker piece dumped three Pinocchios on—who else?—Obama. Somehow, Grassley sneaked onto the list on June 9, although he earned only two:
Kessler’s hard-copy Sunday Fact Checker pieces:
Sunday, July 7: Economic aid to Cairo has long been blind to government oppression
Sunday, June 30: A whopper of a “Mediscare” ad
Sunday, June 23: Are Democrats full of beans over SNAP?
Sunday, June 16: Obama's jobs statistic is overworked
Sunday, June 9: Grassley's verdict on D.C. Circuit's workload should see closer review
Sunday, June 2: Kerry's statements about U.S. performance on emissions targets seem to mostly be just smog
Sunday, May 26: Red herrings, dissemblance and misleading statements from IRS's Lerner
Sunday, May 19: Obama takes revisionist history too far in parsing Benghazi
We’re not saying these fact-checks are wrong, although some of them certainly may be. Personally, we thought that June 23 fact-check was interesting, although we thought it should have been a news report more than a fact-checker piece.

We’re not saying that Kessler decides which fact-checks get picked for Sunday hard-copy treatment, although it may be that he does.

We’re just saying that the Washington Post needs to make an additional hire. Kessler’s now fact-checking all one way. Who fact-checks the rest of the world?

While we’re at it, one last question: Do journalists and cable stars need to be fact-checked?

That could be a great third hire! As we've noted before, Brother Kessler doesn’t seem to think they do.


  1. Does anyone really think the problem with today's journalism is understaffing?

  2. It's amusing to read the IRS and Benghazi articles now that we have much more information. It's a good reminder not to read Kessler at all.

  3. Perhaps Kessler's focus on the Dems is because they're in power and control the public debate. It would be interesting to compare with Kessler's choice of statements checked when the Reps were in power.

    1. the Dems are only as powerful as the Repubs allow them to be thanks to "checks and balances" like the filibuster, the holding up of nominations, etc. and to say that the Dems control the public debate is a joke -- especially coming from someone who reads Somerby and should know better. the media controls the public debate, and they slant things against Dems as much if not more than they do against Repubs.

  4. Of course, since TDH knows that he is citing a cherry-picked list when he only refers to the hard-copy post, we surely would not recommend him to be the second fact-checker.

  5. Bob,

    This is an interesting list. I don't really keep track of it, but perhaps I should. We have certainly had a run of columns about Democrats, but I just counted and from the first of the year to now, the tally is 13 for Democrats, 13 for Republicans. (I don't count Lois Lerner as either--she is a nonpartisan public official.) There was a two month period in March-April in which every column published was about Republicans.

    I always maintain it evens out in the end, and so that's where we are now. Probably time for a few GOP columns to pop up in the print edition!

    As for why these particular ones are chosen, it is based generally on what might have the broadest interest for newspaper readers. The choice last week came down to one on Sarah Palin talking about immigration or aid to Egypt. The Palin column got a tremendous amount of traffic on the web, but it was decided that aid to Egypt was more "in the news."