Fact Checker, My Ass
Remember when Washington Post “Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler listed the report of a 10 year old rape victim being forced to leave the state of Ohio in order to get a potentially life-saving abortion?
Kessler did his “Due Diligence”, and implied that the doctor was not to be trusted, because, it was only one doctor, and that when he contacted child welfare agencies across the state, “None of the officials we reached were aware of such a case in their areas,” and, when the truth came out, he added the correction, “Unlike similar Ohio county agencies we contacted, Franklin County officials did not offer a response.”
It appears that Kessler sees it as his mission to fight against the perception that, most succinctly stated by Stephen Colbert, that, “Reality has a well known liberal bias,” which is an odd position for a fact checker to hold, but he is what he is.
His debunking turned out to be wrong. The alleged rapist was charged, and all the circumstances, including the necessary regulatory filings were confirmed, so the story was true.
What is important here is the, “None of the officials we reached were aware of such a case in their areas,” quote, because he made that up. It is flat out fabulism.
Over at The Lever, Andrew Perez, dug a little bit, and by dint of freedom of information act requests, got the email exchange between Kessler and the Franklin County Children Service DID respond to Kessler’s inquiries, and noted that, “Their agency could not comment on specific cases, because this information is treated as confidential under Ohio law.”
So basically, Kessler made up the quotes, and non-quotes in his column.
Given his previous history:
- He called Bernie Sanders’ statement that there were millions of Americans working two jobs false because it was only 8 million Americans, which is only about 5% of the workforce. (WTF?)
- That a Republican plan to privatize Medicare did not end Medicare as we know it, because it kept the name.
- Claiming that Bernie Sanders (Yeah, he has an issue with Bernie) statement that there are over ½ million bankruptcies a year caused by medical issues is false, because the study cited was not peer reviewed.
- Claiming that the Sander’s statement that the Trump tax cuts overwhelmingly benefited the rich and large corporations was false, contradicting the Post’s own reporting.
It appears that there is a pattern of dissembling in order to promulgate a right of center viewpoint.
Still, I would note that this latest case is particularly egregious.
This is not just a hack pundit tying themselves in knots to support their own preconceptions, this is a case where a complete, and almost certainly knowing, falsehood was published.
For this, and plagiarism, the response should be an immediate termination.