The Republicans have inadvertently done Americans and the news media a great service by staying on their cynical script of half-truths and deceptions. Beginning with the Romney pollster who famously said that the campaign wasn’t going to be dictated by fact-checkers, the party leadership has practically dared reporters to “fact check your ass,” to use the lexicon of the web.
Obviously, after years of urging from people like Jay Rosen and Dan Conover, there’s a good chance that political campaigning has reached a tipping point. We journalists talk all the time about how we are truth tellers, how we “speak truth to power,” and we “afflict the comfortable” and “if your mama says she loves you, check it out.” Now it’s time to walk the talk. CJR has some suggestions on how to keep the fact checking going.
If figuring out how to do this sort of truth-telling on a consistent basis locally hasn’t soared to the top of the to-do list for editors, news directors and journalists, we are doomed.