Campfire Blog

‘Fact-Checkers’ Are Really Just Glorified Bloggers

Don’t fall for their tricks

We’ve heard a lot about fact-checking in this election cycle. But most often, it’s simply a way to cloak opinion as written-in-stone truths. Megan McArdle, writing at the Daily Beast, says that many of the people we now call fact-checkers are simply those whom we used to call bloggers. They have no particular expertise in anything, yet they claim the august mantle of “fact-checker.” It’s audacious.

It reminds me of when I worked for U.S. News & World Report. Back when they actually produced a magazine, they had a regiment of fact-checkers who worked in the company library. They diligently checked every fact–spellings of names, dates, etc.–and that’s all a fact-checker is supposed to do. They don’t “fact-check” opinions and observations.

But most of the fact-checking we see now is not of the correct spelling variety. It’s of the “I disagree with you but instead of being honest I’m going to say you’re factually wrong” variety.

Read Megan McArdle’s piece here (1 page).


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