Letter to the Editor

Judging the Fact Checker

Glenn Kessler [“Welcome to the biggest campaign fibs of 2012,” Dec. 23] highlighted a recent study of fact-checkers, which found that his “column split its ratings almost equally between the two parties.” That apparently confirms his view, stated earlier in the piece, that “there is little difference between Democrats and Republicans in terms of twisting the facts and being misleading when it suits their political purposes.”

I admire the fact-checking mission that Kessler and The Post have taken on. It’s what journalists ought to do, not just in fact-checking columns but also in their actual reporting. But what if The Post’s fact-checker-in-chief’s assumption that the parties lie in equal measure is wrong? What if one party is looser with the facts than the other? To a lot of us, it seems clear that that’s the case.

If Kessler measures his own fairness by the standard that both parties are equally deceptive, he’s judging facts by his own preconception. That might explain why, at least to my ear, he often judges one party’s assertions more harshly than the other’s.

Matthew Freeman, Rockville

 
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