The worst journalistic crime is to pawn off Opinion as straight news. Few people in the business commit this crime as often as Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, who packages his rebuttals of political opinions as "fact checks."
Don't take my word for it. Clive Crook, a senior editor at the extremely liberal Atlantic Monthly, called for the Washington Post to fire Kessler not because Kessler attacked Obama but because of an attack on Mitt Romney.
"When a fact is wrong, it's not some number of Pinocchios, it's just wrong," Crook wrote. And then he ripped Kessler apart.
From Clive Crook:
All you need to know is this. Kessler's just another pundit. By calling himself The Fact-Checker he claims the superior authority derived from the special property of a fact -- that it's capable of being simply true or false. To do this is a Very Great Lie. I'm not exaggerating when I say it violates every canon of civilization. Angry? You bet I'm angry. I'm crying tears of rage right now. We don't tolerate people who torture small children and we shouldn't tolerate atrocities like this. I can't think of a penalty too severe.
I know Kessler's a pretty good pundit -- I never denied it. So what if he digs into things and his commentaries are smart. And I know calling him a brazen liar and wishing him to be set upon by ravening dogs isn't going to open any channels of communication between us. Good. That's just how I want it. You can be "civil" and have your nice debates, and that's all fine and dandy if you want to be a filthy traitor in the war of ideas. But when you engage with liars, you validate their lies -- lies, lies, lies -- and you're no better than they are.
Fire his ass.Conservatives and moderates have known this for years. Tom Blumer of the moderate watchdog News Busters wrote: "Washington Post's 'Fact Check' Gives 'Four Pinocchios' to Carson For Correctly Citing Taqiyya."
From Tom Blumer:
Deception, or taqiyya, especially in the name of advancing Islam via jihad is thus not only accepted by many Muslims. It is considered a requirement. Sorry to burst your ignorant bubble, Glenn Kessler. You're the one who gets four big fat Pinocchios for your "whopper." For your penance, you get to read up on Tawriya, Islam's permission to use language that is deliberately ambiguous.Actually, ultra liberals like Glenn Kessler have been decepticons at various newspapers for years. Say what you may about me, but I confined my opinions to the editorial page.
Speaking of which, the candidate I endorsed this year -- Carly Fiorina -- rose from secretary to CEO. Glenn Kessler's column -- er fact check -- gave her Three Pinocchios. The article was written by Michelle Ye Hee Lee. I would let it slide, except after it was mocked and ridiculed by moderates and conservatives -- even the liberal Howard Kurtz guffawed at this absurdity -- Kessler wrote a bizarre excuse, rather than apologizing for this nonsense:
(Update: This column generated criticism from many readers who said that her statements were entirely factual, as she once was a secretary, and thus were not worthy of Three Pinocchios. John Sexton of Breitbart wrote a critique in which he said the column was “poorly reasoned.” Even our old colleague Howard Kurtz berated us. Fiorina herself said the column was “ludicrous” and “sort of floored me.” In determining the rating, we tried to be consistent with other cases when a politician would use words that, while on the face accurate, gave a misleading picture. A good example is the Three Pinocchio rating we gave President Obama’s campaign in 2012 for a campaign video narrated by Tom Hanks, concerning his mother’s fight with an insurance company. That column also generated criticism, though mainly from Democrats. We strive for consistency in how we apply these ratings. In this case, Fiorina’s career really began after she received her MBA, when she was hired as an AT&T sales representative. We did not, as Fiorina falsely claimed on “Meet the Press,” assert she was not a secretary.)How revealing. Obama's tall tale was wrong. His mother was not fighting the insurance company, but rather Social Security over a disability claim. Missus Fiorina really did work as a secretary at a real estate office. That is a fact. She was later a CEO. That is a fact. To say they are not facts is a lie. She misrepresents nothing. Michelle Ye Hee Lee is wrong. And so is Kessler.
Most recently, Kessler said Trump lied when Trump said some Muslims celebrated 9/11 in New Jersey.
John Hinderaker caught Kessler with his pants down.
Wrote Kessler: "Trump says that he saw this with his own eyes on television and that it was well covered. But an extensive examination of news clips from that period turns up nothing. There were some reports of celebrations overseas, in Muslim countries, but nothing that we can find involving the Arab populations of New Jersey."
Wrote the Washington Post on September 18, 2001: "In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river."
We all make mistakes, but when you proclaim yourself as a Fact Checker and then refuse to admit you are wrong when all evidence shows it, you deserve derision.
And we know why Kessler does this: To push a liberal agenda. He can deny it all he wants, but that is what he does.
As Clive Crook wrote: "When a fact is wrong, it's not some number of Pinocchios, it's just wrong."