The fact-checkers keep destroying fact-checking

The fact-checkers keep destroying fact-checking, by Timothy Carney. “Fact-checking” is the latest trend in politically correct bullying an deception. An example:

TRUMP: First of all, she was there as secretary of state with the so-called line in the sand, which…

CLINTON: No, I wasn’t. I was gone. I hate to interrupt you, but at some point, at some point, we need to do some fact-checking here.

Trump was talking about Aug. 20, 2012, when President Obama said the “Red Line” which Syria’s Assad must not cross, is the movement or use of chemical weapons. You may note that Hillary Clinton was, in fact, the secretary of state that day, as NBC notes.

So Hillary Clinton was dead wrong, trying to exculpate herself from a possibly destructive instance of foreign policy incompetence… But our media, obsessed with finding false equivalence, needs to find Trump at fault too. Got that? “Everyone is wrong here” and “Both candidates were wrong,” because Trump called Obama’s “Red Line” a “line in the sand.” Find me a functional difference between those two terms and you may have a point. Otherwise, our fact-checkers have turned into semantic nit-pickers.

More generally:

Every single fact check posted on Twitter by NBC on debate night was of a Trump statement they deemed false or misleading. Of course, this tells us more about NBC’s fact checkers than it does about the relative veracity of Trump or Clinton.

Lots of journalists, including myself, worry about what happens when the public broadly loses faith in the media. I think media fact-checkers are a good idea. I think they would be a good reality if they limited themselves to checking checkable and pertinent assertions of fact, and calling out clear misrepresentation — such as Trump saying he wasn’t really telling people to check out a sex tape, when he wrote “Check out sex tape.”.

Calling your shills “fact checkers” isn’t fooling anyone.