Memo to David Gregory

Fact-checking can be a good business strategy (Greg Sargent):

Has anyone else noticed that the Associated Press has been doing some strong fact-checking work lately, aggressively debunking all kinds of nonsense, in an authoritative way, without any of the usual he-said-she-said crap that often mars political reporting?

I asked AP Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier about this, and he told me something fascinating, if not all together unexpected: Their fact-checking efforts are almost uniformly the most clicked and most linked pieces they produce.

Journalistic fact-checking with authority, it turns out, is popular. Who woulda thunk it?

I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

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108 replies
  1. 1
    fourlegsgood says:

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED!! that Fournier has rediscovered the basics of journalism.

    Oh, and David Gregory is a punk.

  2. 2
    fourlegsgood says:

    In fact, memo to the entire Washington Press core, not just fact checking, but actual good journalism just might be helpful to your bottom line.

    And to my sanity. But that’s another subject.

  3. 3
    cervantes says:

    Makes perfect sense to me — Gregory wants to “get” all the latest media darlings and hot provacateurs. He’s afraid they won’t come on his show if they’re gonna get fact checked. Also, he doesn’t want to be embarrassed for not calling them out while they’re on the show, which he can’t do because he’s an unprepared ignoramus.

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    Really? Ron Fournier? I’m really surprised.

    aimai

  5. 5
    El Cid says:

    But… but… they keep telling us that the reason that mass media coverage is usually so shitty and unreliable and establishmentarian gossipy is that it’s what the public wants! Unpossible!

  6. 6
    LittlePig says:

    @aimai: You and me both. Of course, it may be only Democratic facts that get checked.

  7. 7
    Mike in NC says:

    Hey, David Gregory learned everything he ever needed to know from his co-host, Grumpy McCain.

  8. 8
    JGabriel says:

    @aimai: Truly. Color me shocked, as well.

    .

  9. 9
    Uloborus says:

    What? People lean heavily to doing what they think is in their best interest. This doesn’t necessary have anything to do with what is ACTUALLY in their best interest.

    He wants Access, doesn’t he?

  10. 10
    Mike Kay says:

    I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

    When has he ever made sense?

    Remember when Scott McClellan’s book came out and he said the press did a piss poor job on Iraq, and Gregory went ballistic screaming they did a great job in the lead up to the invasion.

    Just watch his revisionism and admission of being thin skinned.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  11. 11
    C Nelson Reilly says:

    But Dave has a new HD set because that’s what real Americans want.

  12. 12
    atlliberal says:

    Meet the press should be fact checked anyway, and Gregory’s questions should be checked just as vigorously as his guests answers. maybe politifact or factcheck.org or the AP would do it if we all asked them to?

  13. 13
    Rosalita says:

    @cervantes:

    You mean no more McCain? Shame that.

  14. 14
    Brachiator says:

    I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

    Fact-checking? I didn’t think that they allowed facts on MTP and other pundit shows.

  15. 15
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @fourlegsgood:

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED!! that Fournier has rediscovered the basics of journalism.

    No, really. This is literally stunning. Ron Fournier is the worst. Color me fucking shocked.

    I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

    It’s really not that hard with David “We Haven’t Made Any Mistakes On My Watch” Gregory. As cervantes indicates, it really is all about his ability to get high-profile politicos on his show, and the way he does that is by providing them a marshmallow-soft platform to shape whatever kind of narrative they desire. Case in point, let’s go back to when Gov. Mark Sanford’s Appalachian Trail scandal broke and everyone was trying to book him for their show. Look at the e-mails that Gregory sent to Sanford’s office outright pleading and begging for an interview:

    Left you a message. Wanted you to hear directly from me that I want to have the Gov on Sunday on Meet The Press. I think it’s exactly the right forum to answer the questions about his trip as well as giving him a platform to discuss the economy/stimulus and the future of the party. You know he will get a fair shake from me and coming on MTP puts all of this to rest.
    __
    … So coming on Meet The Press allows you to frame the conversation how you really want to…and then move on. You can see (sic) you have done your interview and then move on. Consider it.

    Meet The Press is like home base for the Village. It’s as safe and comfortable as doing an interview in their own living room.

  16. 16
    hal says:

    The AP is totally into fact checking, especially McCain’s BFF Fournier…

    Voters rejected one of President Barack Obama’s hand-picked candidates and forced another into a runoff, the latest sign that his political capital is slipping beneath a wave of anti-establishment anger.

    The end result of a Specter loss is who gets to run as a Democrat in the general election. And of course, facts do get in at some point…

    In previous months, Obama’s endorsements and campaign appearances weren’t enough to save then-Gov. Jon Corzine’s re-election bid in New Jersey, Creigh Deeds’ run for governor in Virginia or Martha Coakley’s campaign in Massachusetts to keep the late Edward M. Kennedy’s Senate seat in Democratic hands. In fairness, Deeds was an underdog from the start, and Corzine brought many problems on himself. But the Coakley loss to Republican Scott Brown was excruciating. She once was considered a shoo-in, and her defeat restored the Republicans’ ability to block Democratic bills with Senate filibusters

  17. 17
    LittlePig says:

    @atlliberal: Fournier is AP.

    His primary job so far has been making sure all news is good for Republicans.

  18. 18
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

    My theory: David Gregory is a worthless shithead who will hopefully get punched in the neck by a bear.

  19. 19
    Lev says:

    I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

    Who?

    Amazing how quickly MTP has turned so completely irrelevant. David Gregory is the Jay Leno of Sunday Morning.

  20. 20
    NobodySpecial says:

    @LittlePig:

    Absolutely. This ‘fact-checking’ nonsense will stop the moment we get Caribou Barbie in the White House.

  21. 21
    ChockFullO'Nuts says:

    Theories? We got theories.

    Theory #1: Gregory is Not Very Smart(tm). By that I mean, he really doesn’t get the idea that MTP is supposed to be journalism, and journalism is about facts. He thinks that it’s more important to give political guests room to maneuver and manipulate without interference, because it makes for better television and grabs more viewers. In short, entertainment and manipulation win out over journalism and facts.

    Theory #2: Gregory thinks that guests will not want to let it all hang out if they think that their words are going be put through the xray machine at the door. He calculates that he gets more material from them if they feel comfortable saying whatever they want to say. To believe this, he must be Not Very Smart(tm), so this is sort of an appendage to Theory #1. Guests who feel safe means access, and access means … well, being chummy with the powerful. It means being frisky with the powerful, playful biting, and then letting the powerful fuck you in the ass, which not only feels good, but leads to more play on another show in the near future. Gregory becomes just another NBC whore who really just wants invitations to the luxury boxes at the stadium. He just wants to eat, drink and be merry with the powerful and glamourous people. I can’t think of any other possible motivation for selling one’s gonads to the devil.

  22. 22
    Lev says:

    @hal: The establishment must back incumbents. What kind of signal would it send if Obama had tossed Blanche Lincoln overboard in favor of Halter? I suspect no Southern Democrats would vote for anything else he favored from now on. And the Specter thing was clearly to try to encourage party switchers.

  23. 23
    Fleas correct the era says:

    @aimai: I’m honestly astonished. Ron Fournier of all people.

    If this sort of thing continues long enough, we may yet live to see Ceci Connolly and Kit Seelye condemning made-up quotes.

  24. 24
    Mike Kay says:

    “Facts are stupid things.” ~ Ronald Reagan at the 1988 republican convention.

  25. 25
    El Cruzado says:

    I’d like to think at some point he started fearing for his job unless he started getting his act together.

  26. 26
    Steve says:

    I suspect the reason fact-checking stories are popular is that if you state clearly that a Republican is lying, every left-wing blog is guaranteed to link to it. Similarly, if you say flat-out that a Democrat is lying, the entire wingosphere will link in a heartbeat. If you write a wishy-washy “parties disagree on shape of Earth” story, on the other hand, no one but Bob Somerby and DougJ will link.

    So if links are revenue, yeah, this makes sense. But does it mean that if MTP had fact-checking, suddenly their viewership would increase by leaps and bounds? I dunno about that. Different business model. I guess the video of the fact-checker calling someone a liar would be posted on a lot of blogs, but that’s about it.

  27. 27
    ChockFullO'Nuts says:

    @Lev:

    True enough. One of the reasons why I decided in the last few days to stop watching political tv. No more Sunday shows, no MSNBC nightly lineup, no more blabbing pundits, trying to outdo each other with their rapid and pressured speech, their endless blathering. No more fossilized thoughts of Pat Buchanan. No more officious ass kissing of Bob Schieffer. No more endless brainfarts of John King or Wolf Blitzer or Candy Crowley. No more tiresome blah blah blah from people who are just making shit up and have no real idea what is happening, why it is happening, what it means, or what will likely happen in the future. From the people who gave us the Clinton v Giuliani presidential race of 2008, remember that one?

    Just stop watching this crap. Turn it off. Life is much more enjoyable. I just tried a few days of it and it’s very refreshing.

  28. 28
    Leisureguy says:

    David Gregory doesn’t want fact-checking on Meet the Press because he and his guests often wander very far from the facts, of which in many cases they seem to be ignorant. Fact-checking would be as embarrassing for him as Dawn Johnsen would have been as head of the Office of Legal Counsel would have been for Barack Obama.

  29. 29
    Royce says:

    Meh. Fournier. Somebody’s looking for credibility. Leopards don’t change their spots so easily.

    What’s coming up that needs trusting eyeballs? That’s my only question.

    Um, yeah, a little cynical here.

  30. 30
    Warren Terra says:

    NPR and WNYC’s “On The Media” had a piece last weekend on fact-checking the Sunday shows; MTP were insufferable, but iirc even the less smug show was just posting the fact-check online, not airing it.

  31. 31
    catclub says:

    speaking of facts: The democrats are now 12 for 12 in special elections to the House of Representatives since Obama was inaugurated.

    You wouldn’t guess it from the newsmedia.

    Did I read that in BJ on another thread?

  32. 32
    slackjawedgawker says:

    @cervantes:

    Nailed it, on both points.

  33. 33
    jl says:

    Interesting story. I hope the AP does honest fact checking. I agree that is difficult to trust Fournier, but if it means dollars for his boss, that might make difference.

    Main concern I have is that ruthless political hackery has burrowed so deeply into our culture, sometimes even the ‘facts’ may be cooked.

    Kos has an interesting take on games national pollsters play, or at least Rasmussen. From looking at the graph, I am not so sure whether Rasmussen has been consistently tilting toward favorable results for GOP, or slanting the results to keep things artificially close to a draw. That latter approach might mean more money in his business model, more than being a GOP flack.

    Take a look at the graph in the Kos article, it is surprizing. Either Rasmussen is right, or everyone else is right. Can’t be both.

    Rasmussen’s (dishonest) game
    Daily Kos
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyo.....nest)-game

  34. 34
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Fact checking = ammunition in the political wars.
    AP is running a sale on virtual guns and bullets, and getting lots of customers. This may be an indicator of high levels of audience polarization as much as it is an indicator of widespread hunger for a better press. The question is, does traffic correlate with fact-checking articles which get it right, or can Fox News, et. al. set up a “fact check” stand (Dopes rather than Snopes) and also do a brisk business, peddling bullshit? If the latter, it is the “fact checking” label which is selling well, not the actual contents.

  35. 35
    Punchy says:

    David Gregory? Chuck Todd? Does anyone on that fucking network have a non-first name last name?

  36. 36
    Michael says:

    OT, but this sort of thing makes my blood boil.

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.c.....?ref=fpblg

    Full Text Of Newsmax Column Suggesting Military Coup Against Obama

    Here is the full text of John L. Perry’s column on Newsmax which suggests that a military coup to “resolve the Obama problem” is becoming more possible and is not “unrealistic.” Perry also writes that a coup, while not “ideal,” may be preferable to “Obama’s radical ideal” — and would “restore and defend the Constitution.” Newsmax has since removed the column from its website.

  37. 37
    Adam Collyer says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts:

    Theory #2: Gregory thinks that guests will not want to let it all hang out if they think that their words are going be put through the xray machine at the door. He calculates that he gets more material from them if they feel comfortable saying whatever they want to say. To believe this, he must be Not Very Smart™, so this is sort of an appendage to Theory #1. Guests who feel safe means access, and access means … well, being chummy with the powerful.

    Gregory’s right that guests are less likely to come on his show if they aren’t able to peddle their nonsense freely. The fatal flaw in his thinking, however, is that this is only true so long as his ratings are still high. I’ve been told MTP’s ratings have been tanking with Gregory at the helm, and that’s no surprise. Sure, his guests may be “controversial,” but the price for that is viewer distrust. Say what you will about Tim Russert (and I realize that liberals have a lot to say about him), but viewers trusted him. They felt like he was capable of confronting a guest. No one I know feels like that’s true for Gregory. Even when he tries to be confrontational, he bumbles and gives off an air of arrogance that makes him look foolish.

    If Gregory wants MTP’s viewers back, a brand new set isn’t the answer to his problems. Viewers have to trust him. He hasn’t given me a reason to do so, and given his objections to fact checking, I don’t see him giving me a reason for quite a while. I say this as a long time former MTP viewer before Russert’s death in 2008.

  38. 38
    slackjawedgawker says:

    @Lev:
    No, the Specter endorsement was quid pro quo for getting him to switch sides (and votes) back when he did.

    Honestly, I don’t have a problem with it. If Sestak were a stronger, more liberal candidate than he actually is, then maybe I would feel differently, but while I’m happy Sestak won I don’t see the difference being so great that I can conclude that Obama made the wrong move, let alone an indefensible one.

  39. 39

    @Lev: And how many Southern Democrats(aka remaining Dixiecrats) vote with Obama now(except on the wars and curtailing civil liberties)?

  40. 40
    Warren Terra says:

    Michael, vile as it is, that story is months old. Note that while it has no obvious date, the TPM page you linked is copyright 2009.

  41. 41
    Napoleon says:

    Speaking of fact checking in now turns out that in the same speech Blumenthal claimed he was in Vietnam he clarified that he never went to Vietnam.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.c......html#more

    Good hit job NY Times.

  42. 42

    @Adam Collyer: Sure, because Timmeh!! did most of his work before the rise of blogs and such. Without blogs, would we know that Russert let Darth Cheney play him like a fiddle?

  43. 43
    Remember November says:

    Sure Fournier’s all about fact-checking NOW. A few years ago when he was pen pals with Rove, not so much.

  44. 44

    @jl: Rasmussen did polling for Dubya/Darth Vader ’04. So yes, he leans Republican.

  45. 45
    cleek says:

    Facts all come with points of view.
    Facts don’t do what I want them to.
    Facts just twist the truth around.
    Facts are living turned inside-out.

    – David Byrne

  46. 46
    slackjawedgawker says:

    @Punchy:

    Let me check with my Aunt Brzezinski and get back to you.

  47. 47
    Face says:

    Serious question to ponder: What happens when these Extreme Mouthbreathers like RaPaul get into Congress, and they suddenly realize they aren’t as important/powerful as their ego and fellow Teabaggers let them on? Will they burn the place down, metaphorically? Call for Obama’s impeachment daily? Openly hope for an assassination? Defecate on the microphone?

    LIke spoiled children that suddenly have to attend 1st grade and share things they previously had all to themselves….I forsee a clusterfucking mess of child-like antics in Congress in 2011….

  48. 48
    Adam Collyer says:

    @Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:

    Sure, absolutely. People trusted Russert. People don’t trust Gregory. While that may be because of blogs and the internet, we know those exist and what their influences are. Gregory and his people need to learn to live in this age. Additionally, he needs to keep the smarmy attitude to a minimum.

  49. 49
    Ash Can says:

    Newsmax has since removed the column from its website.

    “Mr. Perry? The Secret Service is here to see you, and the FBI is holding on line one.”

  50. 50
    Uloborus says:

    @Michael: @Warren Terra:
    Okay, but it’s STILL hilarious. The power of the echo chamber is amazing. Right wing pundits just aren’t living in the real world. They’re living in a world where the government asking for stock in return for bailing out a bankrupt auto company is a campaign to nationalize industry. A world where we were winning in Iraq and Afghanistan and Obama is just abandoning that campaign. A world where Iran is going to nuke us any time now. A world where Obama was elected because of *apathy* and *disinterest in good government*.

  51. 51
    Tonal Crow says:

    I’ll trust Fournier’s “fact checking” when I see clear and convincing evidence of it. The only decent AP piece I can recall seeing in the last few years was the recent one ‘AP IMPACT: US drug war has met none of its goals’. Otherwise (by and large) AP articles are either poorly-organized, poorly-researched squibs and/or GOP hagiographies.

    And that’s a fact.

  52. 52
    Derek says:

    I never watch TV news. It fucking blows!

  53. 53
    MTiffany says:

    I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

    Because David Gregory is well aware just how full of shit he, his pundits, and his guests are?

  54. 54
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Derek: To say that TV news “fucking blows” is to badly defame two (or more) healthy, enjoyable sex acts. Didn’t you mean to say that it “GOPing bites”?

  55. 55
    Karen in GA says:

    I gave up on the AP in 2008 — I take anything and everything from them with a boulder of salt, if I bother reading it at all. If Fournier’s serious, then from here on all of their articles will be accurate (allowing for occasional human error), and there’ll be a huge increase in “fact-checking” features. We’ll see.

    Speaking of, is Nedra Pickler still there?

  56. 56
    Barry says:

    @Face: ” What happens when these Extreme Mouthbreathers like RaPaul get into Congress, and they suddenly realize they aren’t as important/powerful as their ego and fellow Teabaggers let them on?”

    Well, from what I hear Randroid Paul ain’t goin’ nowhere, less’n he can git mostens of those Demonocrat voters to switch parties.

    But I expect a couple to be hardcore fillibusterers. Really, really hardcore fillibusterers.

  57. 57
    jl says:

    @Napoleon: Media Matters has a piece on what increasingly looks like the NY Times hit job, or sloppy stenography of a GOP hit job, on Blumenthal. GOP opponent fed NY Times the story, and Blumenthal said clearly he did not serve in Vietnam theatre of war on clip GOP opponent posted on his website, at beginning of the speech.

    I guess we should watch for a big correction from the NY Times.

    Or maybe they should do a similar piece on Lindsey Graham, for the all important balance.

  58. 58

    OT – but this looks like a good idea for anyone who is growing rhubarb. Mine is almost ready to pick.

    Strawberry/rhubarb infused vodka.

    http://www.cooklocal.com/?p=30.....gle+Reader

  59. 59

    @Karen in GA: If you are going to bring up Pickler, don’t forget Liz “Sprinkles” Sidoti.

  60. 60
    Allan says:

    I guess it does take a pig to find truffles.

  61. 61
    Poopyman says:

    I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

    Facts get in the way of a good fable. And we can’t have that, now can we?

  62. 62
    Napoleon says:

    @jl:

    I guess we should watch for a big correction from the NY Times.

    Good luck with that.

  63. 63
    Mike Kay says:

    @jl: NYT has turned into a neo-con rag.

  64. 64
    wrb says:

    Re: The somewhat ot but entertaining subject of fact-vanishing.

    Overnight the (Republican?) site randpaulstrangeideas.com went blank. Hopefully someone has a copy.

    Here is the google cache of the front page from yesterday.

  65. 65
    kay says:

    @jl:

    I’m shocked by that, but I shouldn’t be. These are the same people who accepted an edited version of the ACORN tape and released it as “fact”, and then refused to correct what was an out and out lie.
    How fucking stupid are they? Can I submit some tiny clip or edited tape and count on the NYTimes to carry my message?
    I can, I guess.

  66. 66
    Randy P says:

    @Lev:
    That’s my read. Part of convincing Specter to switch was promising him he’d be supported, and that he wouldn’t face a primary challenge. So I understand Obama going right down to the wire for Specter even when it became clear the momentum was heading in the other direction.

    And I can continue to be an O-bot even while the very idea of promising someone they won’t be primaried makes me furious and grates at my soul. Obama is clearly part of the Democratic machine and the machine has its very important role to play. But it’s not always right.

  67. 67
    Sly says:

    I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

    MTP can not function without allowing people to come on the show and lie with impunity.

    It’s entire purpose is to generate ledes for the upcoming week, not “debate” the events of the previous week. That’s pretty much been the case since the show went on the air over 60 years ago. The difference today is that ledes are of the he-said-she-said variety, because they’re cheap and have longevity. In other words, MTP exists to create a controversy. Then the rest of the establishment media flogs that controversy for as much as its worth (in terms of time and advertising dollars), and then they drop it for something new.

    Killing one (or both) of the arguments involved, early on and over something as inconsequential as the truth, defeats the entire structure of this format.

  68. 68
    Mark S. says:

    While I like fact checking sites, I sometimes find it funny how they miss the forest for the trees. For instance,

    SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY) | Justices Marshall, Frankfurter, Jackson, and Rehnquist had limited/no judicial experience – HALF TRUE

    I’ll grant that Schumer probably should have specified which Marshall, but this is ridiculous:

    Justice Robert Jackson, who served on the Supreme Court from 1941 to 1954, had no prior judicial experience, though Justice Howell Jackson, serving on the Supreme Court from 1893 to 1895, had previously served as a federal circuit judge.

    I’m willing to bet if you polled 100 law professors, 99 of them would have never heard of Howell Jackson. Schumer was obviously talking about Robert Jackson.

  69. 69
    jeffreyw says:

    memo to self: before making the yogurt/cucumber sauce, slicing the tomatoes and onions and thawing the pita bread, check to make sure that the gyro loaf in the fridge hasn’t started growing mold.

  70. 70

    @wrb: Duh!! It was funded by backers of Trey Grayson.

  71. 71
    Violet says:

    I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

    My theory: David Gregory is a pussy.

  72. 72
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    NPR and WNYC’s “On The Media” had a piece last weekend on fact-checking the Sunday shows

    NPR could start doing fact checking a little closer to home. Sheeeeeit, NPR lives in a big glass house right next door to MTP in the same Villager cul de sac.

  73. 73
    Violet says:

    Okay, I used another more graphic word and got sent to moderation. Let me try again.

    I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

    My theory: David Gregory is a p u ssy.

  74. 74
    Mark S. says:

    @Violet:

    I learned the other night that if you use the plural of that word you’re good to go.

  75. 75
    Martin says:

    Isn’t this as simple as the free-market competition for lies? If none of the Sunday shows accommodate the liars, won’t they all get relegated to Fox? Would viewers still tune in if no Republicans ever showed up?

  76. 76
    jl says:

    WRT to Blumenthal and Vietnam, I suspend judgment on whether weight of evidence is that he said misleading things, or let others say misleading things about his service.

    Problem is NY Times taking a story fed by his GOP opponent, and being to incompetent, sloppy or lazy to even watch the whole video clip that was a big part of their case. Or they were patently dishonest and ignored the first time he mentioned his Vietnam era service.

    With reporting like this, even if I read a list of ‘facts’ how could I even judge, since there is no guarantee the reporters did the most basic work in checking them?

    The New York Times has some explaining to do
    May 19, 2010 1:51 pm ET by Jamison Foser
    Media Matters blog
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201005190039

  77. 77
    kay says:

    @Violet:

    It’s ego. He’s the fact-checker. Nothing gets by him.
    Have you ever in your life seen such a strutting, preening, “journalist”? He has this predictable array of facial expressions. “Concerned n’ questioning”. “Mildly disapproving”. “Skeptical, but fascinated”.
    I think he’s laughable. He’s like a (bad) actor playing a “serious journalist”.

  78. 78
    Violet says:

    @Mark S.:
    I thought I’d used the singular of it before here successfully. Apparently not. Fortunately, there are workarounds.

    @kay:

    It’s ego. He’s the fact-checker. Nothing gets by him.

    Have you ever in your life seen such a strutting, preening, “journalist”? He has this predictable array of facial expressions. “Concerned n’ questioning”. “Mildly disapproving”. “Skeptical, but fascinated”.
    I think he’s laughable. He’s like a (bad) actor playing a “serious journalist”.

    I know, right? But deep inside he’s terrified he’ll be found out as the fraud he is, and that turns him into the above word that I used.

    If and when fact checking becomes fashionable, he’ll cave and start doing it. But it’ll only be fact check lite, so as not to scare his guests. And then he’ll boast about how “hard-hitting” MTP is with their “rigorous fact-checking” and so forth. Retch.

  79. 79
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Violet:

    fact checking becomes fashionable

    Facts are the new black.

    God if only.

  80. 80
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    I thought facts were liberal. That would be another explanation as to why Gregory avoids checking on them, he probably thinks facts contain librul cooties or something.

  81. 81
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Mark S.:

    I learned the other night that if you use the plural of that word you’re good to go.

    That depends entirely on what part of town you’re in.

  82. 82
    Corner Stone says:

    @Michael: It’s a damn good thing for John L. Perry he doesn’t live near a tony part of Massachussets. That kind of shit there gets you arrested, held without bail and then mandatory psych visits upon release.

  83. 83
    Cain says:

    @Ash Can:

    “Mr. Perry? The Secret Service is here to see you, and the FBI is holding on line one.”

    Sounds like treason too if you’re openly calling for an overthrow of the government. I mean, like what’s the difference between that and the dude in Yemen? Loser.
    cain

  84. 84
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: …hmmmm…

  85. 85
    Violet says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Facts are the new black.

    Don’t count it out. When word gets out that fact checking gets the most clicks, other news organizations will jump on the bandwagon. Then there will be fighting over fact turf – what is a fact, what’s a “Left fact” and a “Right fact” and so forth. Limbaugh will tell his listeners they can’t trust certain fact-check organizations because they’re leftists. GOS will endorse other fact-checkers. It could happen.

  86. 86
    wobbly says:

    Happy Birthday Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh!

    God, how I miss you guys!

    Now more than ever.

  87. 87
    Martin says:

    @Cain: I think seditious conspiracy is where it lands, which is what the Hutaree are currently in jail over.

    The federal government would be pretty slow to act against a pundit, but at some point they would. They finally went after Hal Turner, after all.

  88. 88
    wobbly says:

    Happy Birthday Malcolm Little and Nguyen Ai Quoc!

    God, how I miss you guys!

    Now more than ever!

  89. 89
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Violet: In that sense, the one you describe, where everyone is claiming to have this new trick called “checking facts” which amounts to making things up and claiming that the other side is wrong and you’re right– in other words, exactly what we already have now, yes, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

    Maybe “Facts are the new lapel pins” is even better.

  90. 90
    MikeJ says:

    @Cain: It’s not treason. That’s defined in the constitution as “levying War against [the US], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” The aid and comfort is generally taken to be material aid. It’s generally really, really hard to get a treason conviction, and that’s probably good.

    18 USC 115 § 2385 seems to be what you want, “Advocating overthrow of Government.”

  91. 91
    wobbly says:

    Happy Birthday El Hajj Malik El Shabazz and Nguyen Sinh Cung!

    How I miss you guys!

    Now more than ever!

  92. 92
    Noonan says:

    Also worth checking out the stupid coming from Ben Smith:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/.....ml?showall

    Basically a “reporter” from a link-whoring publication is arguing against the Id of his own profession–even though though fact-checking is proving to be popular with readers. And being popular with readers is all Politico cares about. It really is phenomenal.

  93. 93
    Maude says:

    John Gambling, on WOR radio said that people want opinion, not hard news. This is the same John who said, when the flap over the presidential helicopter was in full swing, take the subway. I don’t believe I heard him say that Bush should take the subway.

    Violet, thanks for the Facebook info.

  94. 94
    Zeke says:

    You know what’s sad about what Fournier has done to the AP? There is generally a really good 12-inch news story in most AP filings. You just have to carve out 14 inches of BS.

  95. 95
    jl says:

    @Noonan:

    Good Lord. Allen seems so confused he is beyond any fact check.

    Regarding his quibble on the Lincoln versus Halter campaign ad war over outsourcing, Allen thinks the term ‘outsourcing’ is OK because he cannot find anything about firing domestic workers in standard dictionary definitions. One of the definitions he offers is from a federal government website.

    “Outsourcing: The practice of using subcontractors or other businesses, rather than paid employees, for standard services such as accounting, payroll, information technology, advertising, etc.”

    But I read that the company in question that Halter was involved with opened an office, with paid staff (that is staffed by company employees), not subcontractors.

    I don’t like characterizing people or what they write as ‘stupid’. So, for Allen, I will stick with ‘confused’.

    What was the point of his post? He got factchecked on a silly gotcha story on a silly gotcha gotcha campaign ad, ended up confused by the facts, and posted an incomprehensible and confused blog post about it.

    Even if I have my facts wrong, and the staff in India are not employees, seems to me that Allen cannot be trusted to write about objective reality, fact checks or no, in a nonconfused way.

  96. 96
    Mike Kay says:

    @Violet:

    My theory: David Gregory is a p u ssy.

    Don’t defame/denigrate p u ssy by comparing it to Gregory.

  97. 97
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Michael: I don’t know where you picked this up from, but it is old. Something like August of last year or so.

    It’s a great example of how hilariously detached from reality right-wingers are, though.

  98. 98
    licensed to kill time says:

    Well, here’s something that will set the Freepers and Malkinistas on fire:

    Second-grader asks Michelle Obama if the President will deport her mother

    The student shyly raised her hand and said, “My mom … she says that Barack Obama is taking everybody away that doesn’t have papers.”
    __
    Mrs. Obama replied: “Yeah, well that’s something that we have to work on, right? To make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers, right? That’s exactly right.”
    __
    The girl then said quietly, “But my mom doesn’t have any …” and trailed off.
    __
    Mrs. Obama replied: “Well, we have to work on that. We have to fix that, and everybody’s got to work together in Congress to make sure that happens. That’s right.”

    The charges of “set up!” will start in 5…4…3…2…

  99. 99
    wobbly says:

    Happy Birthday brother Malcolm and uncle Ho!

    Both of you lived far from the fact check zone and its quibbles….

    “…. they were of a different kind
    The names that stilled your childish play,
    They have gone about the world like wind….”

    Christ, I even miss that crazy old fascist Yeats in times like these.

  100. 100
    Malron says:

    Meh. Let me know when AP starts fact checking the bullshit Ron Fournier writes.

  101. 101
    Mike Kay says:

    O.T.

    Jack Conway is hammering the fuck outta Rand Paul on Tweety’s show.

    He’s good, really, really good.

  102. 102
    Martin says:

    @licensed to kill time: Just deport the 2nd grader and the problem will solve itself. Dump her off in Mexicali and I guarantee mom will follow. Cheap and easy.

    /wingnut

  103. 103
    hal says:

    Well, here’s something that will set the Freepers and Malkinistas on fire: Second-grader asks Michelle Obama if the President will deport her mother

    And what is the AP title? “TRENDING: Second grader grills Michelle Obama.”

    Really…wtf.

  104. 104
    Martin says:

    @Mike Kay: Well, sometimes you need to work hard to find solid reasons to attack your opponent and sometimes your opponent is Rand Paul.

    But yeah, Conway looked like a pretty good candidate. I think we have a solid chance of winning that race.

  105. 105
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Martin: Snort.

    @hal: Michelle Obama is best when grilled shyly, and quietly served with a side of misleading headline.

  106. 106
    Derek says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Yes, exactly. That.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    cmorenc says:

    Shallow “fact-byte” followed by he-said OTOH she-said journalism takes so much less work, and is so much easier to riff some off-the cuff commentary on, that it’s hardly surprising that the David Gregorys of the journalism world prefer to maintain that approach as the norm. The lead-in “fact-byte” need not even be an accurate, objective “fact”, but can often even be a craftily constructed talking point some political operative skillfully inserts into the beltway blovisphere, where Cable News “journalists” eagerly pick it up and run with it, cause it’s a shiny attention-grabbing object.

    Objective, fact-based journalism OTOH often takes a bitchin’ amount of time and hard digging (even with the assistance of a swarm of interns and just-out-of-college researchers to help dig it out for you). It also makes it harder to pull commentary straight out of your ass without making embarassing loud farts when you talk.

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