Fact Checker doesn’t want to pick on Bobby Jindal: American journalistic culture is massively broken. The guild which sustains it is deeply involved in a form of the walking death.
For a peculiar new example, consider yesterday’s post by the former Glenn Kessler, major domo of the Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog.
In theory, the Fact Checker site exists to tell us when people have made misstatements. And sure enough:
Two Sundays ago, Bobby Jindal made a misstatement on Fox!
Kessler wasn’t required to critique Jindal’s misstatement. Yesterday, he decided to do so. This is the plainly inaccurate statement which sits atop Kessler’s post:
“Maybe they’ll bring in Al Gore, you know, the guy who says he invented the Internet, maybe they’ll fix the Web site [HealthCare.gov].”There are several problems with Jindal’s statement, which was, in fairness, a bit of a quip.
–Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), on “Fox News Sunday,” Oct. 27, 2013
First, Gore never said he “invented” the Internet, as Kessler notes in his post.
Back in March 1999, that became the Standard Paraphrase for a clumsy, off the cuff statement Gore made in an interview. The Standard Paraphrase really took off as the mainstream press corps launched its War Against Gore.
Soon, Kessler’s colleagues began putting the word “invented” inside quotes, although it had never been spoken. A more genuine person might still be embarrassed by all the misconduct in which his colleagues engaged.
Kessler isn’t that person.
The second problem with Jindal’s statement is even more obvious. In our view, Gore never said he invented the Internet. But he most certainly doesn’t make that famous claim now.
But that’s the way Jindal chose to present it as he clowned and pimped and diddled himself among the poodles on Fox. Fourteen years later, Jindal is still repeating this bogus claim—and he’s putting Gore’s alleged statement into the present tense!
There’s no reason why Kessler had to discuss what Jindal said. In the Babel he and his colleagues have made, it’s the norm when a clowning clown makes inane remarks on TV.
Still, Kessler did decide to critique Jindal’s statement. Fourteen years later, Jindal is still repeating a bogus claim on a major Sunday program.
Here’s what Kessler said about that as he began his critique:
KESSLER (11/4/13): Jindal’s dig at the troubled Affordable Care Act manages also to ding former vice president Al Gore for a statement he made nearly 15 years ago. We’re not trying to pick on Jindal, but Gore did not actually say this, though people may differ about whether he came close to saying this.He's not trying to pick on Jindal! Really? Why not?
As a lawmaker, Gore did play an important role in fostering public use of the Internet. Nevertheless, here it is, years later, and Gore is still paying penance for an offhand remark, poorly phrased. So how is it that this flub continues to resonate—and what warnings does Gore’s experience have for other politicians?
There you see the puzzling world a broken soul creates. Note what Kessler does there:
First, he says that Gore is being dinged “for a statement he made nearly 15 years ago.” Then, in his very next breath, he says that Gore didn’t “actually” make the statement.
Apparently, Candidate Gore made the statement in some non-actual way!
In fairness, we know what Kessler meant as he strained to keep faith with the guild. As he notes, some people say that Gore “came close” to making that famous statement.
Personally, we wouldn’t say that. But then, we never claimed that Candidate Romney said he enjoys firing people.
Whatever! Kessler knows that some will say that Gore came close to making that statement. Surely, though, he knows that Gore isn’t parading around making that statement today.
Gore made the statement in question once, in an offhand remark, in passing. Fourteen years later, Jindal is still repeating an embellished version of what Gore actually said—and he’s claiming that Gore still says it!
This is the kind of low-IQ bullshit that has made a joke of our national discourse. And how does the Washington Post’s Fact Checker respond to this bogus claim?
Of course! He responds by saying he doesn’t want to pick on the perpetrator! He goes on to discuss the reasons why Gore’s “flub” “continues to resonate”—and he is extremely dishonest in the way he does even that.
"We’re not trying to pick on Jindal, but Gore did not actually say this.” It’s one of the truly comical statements!
Kessler is a hollowed-out soul, like so many around him. A servant to the guild, he ignored their dissembling fourteen years back, in real time, when it counted.
He didn’t speak up about this invention. He didn’t speak up when his colleagues pretended that Gore said he discovered Love Canal.
He didn't say how blindingly stupid that bull about Love Story was. He didn’t reject the ugly, misogynistic sliming of Naomi Wolf.
He didn’t challenge the ranting deceptions Chris Matthews produced every night. His colleagues pimped this shit for two years. Kessler didn't say squat.
People are dead all over the world because of what this empty soul did. But so what! Fourteen years later, Bobby Jindal is still at it, making an obvious bogus claim—and Kessler, the Washington Post’s alleged Fact Checker, doesn’t want to pick on him!
We’ve spoken about the guild’s walking death. You see its face in Kessler’s slick, empty jotting.
("We’re not trying to pick on Jindal, but Gore did not actually say this."
If you’re interested: Note the number of people in comments who think this two-year attack on Gore’s honesty came from the GOP, or from Fox.
Fox played almost no role in this. It still trailed CNN in the ratings. In October 2000, O’Reilly was more fair to Gore than anyone else on TV.
As Kessler knows, the War Against Gore mainly came from the top of the mainstream press corps. But Kessler’s required to skirt that fact.
In comments, the children are fooled.