Tuesday, July 03, 2012

WAPO Fact Checker: 'I Don't Fact Check Our Own Writers'

WAPO Fact Checker Glenn Kessler apparently got his pee pee whacked by his bosses at the Washingtone Post after he gave a story the Post ran on June 21 about Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s old firm claiming it invested in companies that were “pioneers” in the practice of shipping jobs overseas four Pinnochios for untruthfullness.

Kessler now says he refuses to fact check stories published in his newspaper, and thus will not award any Pinocchios even for comments made by political candidates about stories reported in the Washington Post:

Kessler has announced he is not going to issue any Pinocchios based on claims that President Obama’s campaign has made based on a disputed Washington Post story — although he says the Obama campaign misquotes the WaPo story.

Why? Because “The Fact Checker does not check the facts in the reporting of Washington Post writers or columnists.” He does this in a column that defends the Post’s reporting. {...}

The column then goes on to say that the Obama campaign has made false claims regarding the story – which, remember, the Romney campaign still claims was inaccurate to begin with.

“[T]here is little in the Post article that backs up the Obama campaign’s spin,” Kessler says.

Nevertheless, he refuses to scold the Obama campaign for this. “Given that this debate involves an interpretation of a Post article, we are not going to award any Pinocchios.”

Translation? 'Umm, I like my job and it's been made clear to me that if I want to keep it, dissing the Washington Post's own biased reporting had better not ever happen again.'

And that apparently includes bogus campaign ads based on it.

Obviously, you can't fault Kessler for this...it's his bosses.

What was that about freedom of the press and journalistic ethics again?

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