Fact checking the fact checkers

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In this climate of “fake news,” professional fact checkers have risen to new prominence.  But an academic study of two of the most prominent media fact checkers has found that in one out of five times, the two come to opposite conclusions about whether something is true or a lie.

After the jump, an editorial discusses the study (linked at the end of this post), as well as other similar findings, including a column by Mark Hemingway (a member of an LCMS congregation).

Some will use this research for the postmodernist cause:  “See, there are no ‘facts.’  Bias is inevitable.  Objective truth is impossible to determine.  Truth is relative.  Truth is a political construction, etc.”

And those who think that way will feel justified in constructing more truths for a political cause. [Read more…]

Trump is good business for the liberal media

MSNBC_logoRatings for the conservative Fox News are way down.  The liberal MNBC, once hardly watched by anyone, is now the most-watched cable news network.

The New York Times not long ago was hemorrhaging readers.  Now the number of subscribers is soaring.

Stephen Colbert was recently in danger of losing his late night show, such were his poor ratings.  But now he rules late night TV.

Trump-bashing is bringing the liberal media back to life.

The liberal media may despise Donald Trump, but they are in his debt.

Bernard Goldberg makes this point after the jump.

[Read more…]

A catalog of fake news stories about Trump

2567469865_df9540bb12_zTrump’s opponents seem to have coined the term “fake news” to describe hearsay and rumors that circulated on the internet in support of his campaign.

But now the anti-Trump hysteria has reached such a fever pitch that the mainstream media is churning out fake news about the president and his administration.  Never mind professional standards of objectivity and fact-checking.  Journalists are publishing and broadcasting stories apparently devised solely to fire up “the resistance.”

Daniel Payne at The Federalist has compiled a list of 16 fake news stories about our new president.  As he shows in his discussion, these are not stories whose facts are in dispute.  Each of these has been found false by the newspapers or broadcasters that published them.  They put up corrections, which, of course, receive little attention as the false reports continue to spread on Twitter and FaceBook.

This is not a comprehensive list.  What other fake news stories are not included here? [Read more…]

Top news stories of 2016

12-monats-kalender-2016-querThe Associated Press polled editors and news directors to come up with the top stories of 2016.  Number one was no surprise:  The U.S. Election.

In fact, you could probably spin out ten top stories from the U.S. Election:  Donald Trump’s election, the primaries, Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the Russian connection, Bernie Saunder’s campaign, Republican party implosion, Democratic party implosion, Clinton’s campaign mistakes, Trump’s scandals, political hacking.

Number two is like unto Trump’s victory:  another unexpected populist uprising known as Brexit, Great Britain’s vote to pull out of the European Union.

Consider the list of the top 10 after the jump.  What other events of last year deserve to have been included? [Read more…]

From “the most humiliating year in our history” to victory

256px-USS_California_sinking-Pearl_HarborToday is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.   The Daily Oklahoman has a fascinating and moving feature looking not only at the coverage of that event but of its anniversary through the war years and beyond.

We often forget that the first year of the war we were losing.  The editorial  for December 7, 1942, called it “the bitterest and most humiliating year in our history.”  The next year’s paper was sober but more upbeat.  Then we see optimism.  In 1945 we see the exuberance–and relief–of victory, along with a memorial to those who died achieving it.

The feature gives us a picture of what a unified nation looks like and something of what it felt like to be caught up in a collective cause that was a matter of life and death, not only for individuals, friends, and loved ones–nearly every family had someone fighting–but for the country itself.  It must have been terrible to go through, but also good.

And we can’t help but wonder if America would be capable of that today.

Read a sampling from the newspaper accounts after the jump. [Read more…]

The journalistic sin of smugness

Will Rahn, the Washington editor of the Daily Beast, no less (known both for its liberalism and its snarkiness), has written a mea culpa on journalists’ failure to understand the Trump phenomenon, a confession remarkable for its self-knowledge and its moral diagnosis. [Read more…]