Apr 12, 2010

Fear of the fact-checker

The Sunday morning news show "This Week" on ABC has teamed with PolitiFact to do a post-interview fact-check of whatever claims are made by guests during the course of the program.

"Meet the Press" host David Gregory was asked if he'd support a similar arrangement on his show. He said he'd rather leave it up to the viewers to sort fact from fiction.

Which sounds like a weak way to rationalize that MTP didn't think of the fact-check idea first. But the question remains: What harm could come from providing viewers with additional information with which to sort things out? For one, it would make high-profile spinners uncomfortable and the host look woefully unprepared. Is that the real reason why Gregory balked?

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly questions Gregory's strained logic:
Gregory's comments suggest a more traditional approach: let viewers figure things out "on their own terms." Why separate fact from fiction for news consumers when they can do that on their own?

Perhaps because they aren't well equipped to do this on their own, and rely on professional news outlets to provide them with reliable information.

(found via Romenesko)

No comments: